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Pamunkey Tribe announces $350M casino project

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Pamukey Tribe in Virginia announced plans Friday to develop a $350 million casino resort in the state's capital and a separate one in Norfolk.

The tribal nation purchased three properties in south Richmond for the development of the casino and a fourth parcel about 5 miles (8 kilometers) away to create a work-force training center that could ultimately be converted into a grocery store or health clinic, representatives for the tribe announced.

The proposed resort would include a 275-room hotel tower featuring views of the James River and the downtown skyline containing a spa, fitness center, pool, "high-end steak and seafood restaurant," sports bar and 1,000-space parking garage, according to a statement from the tribe.

The tribe plans to build a separate casino along the Elizabeth River in Norfolk, according to an agreement signed Monday for the purchase of 13.4 acres (5.4 hectares) from the city.

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But the Norfolk project depends on the General Assembly passing and Gov. Ralph Northam signing legislation that would allow commercial gaming in Virginia, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. The state adopted legislation last year allowing casinos in five cities, but the legislation would have to be renewed to become law.

The Richmond project can move forward regardless because the Pamunkeys are the only tribe in Virginia with federal gaming rights under the Indian Regulatory Gaming Act, the newspaper said.

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