North Carolina Anson County Casino Project to Cost $500M
Anson County, North Carolina, could soon become home to a $500 million casino project, as plans continues to progress.
The casino idea has been the subject of much discussion and anticipation, with a clause on the matter in the state budget currently under review by lawmakers.
In July, North Carolina senate members revealed they were looking at three potential casino licenses, in Anson, Rockingham, and Nash Counties.
The Rockingham proposal saw significant public backlash at a community hearing on the project last month.
Meanwhile, Anson County Manager Leonard Sossamon spoke to WCNC Charlotte on the potential for a casino in his local county. He confirmed that state senators had discussed a potential casino with him and his team.
“I haven’t seen the final language, that’s going to be in the bill, but it’s been reported to us that it will require a $500 million investment and it will create at least 1,750 jobs,” Sossamon said.
There have been no details released on potential casino developers or operators.
However, the Anson County manager also confirmed that the development would be mixed-use and include restaurants and retail destinations, as well as a casino.
Part of the sell for the proposed three casinos in North Carolina is that they will be strategically placed in disadvantaged counties near state borders.
State lawmakers have regularly noted that many North Carolinians are heading over state lines to gamble, such as at Caesars Entertainment’s temporary venue in Danville, Virginia.
“It would be, the usual word, transformative, a real shot in the arm, a heck of a boost,” Sossamon said. “Good paying jobs, that would be great for us to have that kind of opportunity.”
Anson County has faced a fall in fortunes in recent years, with industrial businesses moving out of town or closing down.
“At one time, Anson County was a thriving county, it had a lot of factories… now there’s still a few, but not as many as there used to be,” Sossamon said.
The County Manager thinks the casino could provide a reason for people to return to the area, giving it a vital economic boost.
“There are probably some 40,000 folks a day that come through on Interstate 74, and they don’t stop. We’d like to them to stop, spend some time, spend some money in Anson County, and the casino will give them that opportunity,” he said.
Next Steps and Future Outlook
As the state’s lawmakers continue their deliberations, Anson County officials are preparing for the next stages of the project. This latest interview reveals that discussions are being held between state lawmakers and local officials.
However, Sossamon remained cautious about the prospect of a development actually happening.
When asked about the possibility of a referendum, he said that his authority hadn’t considered that far ahead yet.
“Obviously, until the law passes in Raleigh, it could be just a rumor so to speak.”
However, he did confirm that he has been told a casino clause will definitely be in the bill.
If a casino is licensed, though, Sossamon is already looking at potential areas of investment from the potential $4 million in taxes state lawmakers estimate each casino venue could generate.
Local sanitation and water issues seemed to be his key priority, aside from good paying jobs in his community.