Cordish reportedly eyeing land in Rockingham County as NC lawmakers discuss casino legalization

As lawmakers in North Carolina deliberate on the possibility of legalizing commercial casinos in the state, a developer has expressed interest in a site located in Rockingham County, just north of Greensboro. The location is in close proximity to a recently opened casino in Danville, Virginia, situated just a mile from the North Carolina border.

A company named “NC Development Holdings” has submitted a request to rezone approximately 200 acres of land along U.S. 220 in Rockingham County from residential/agricultural to commercial.

Although the company did not explicitly mention its intended use for the land in the application, residents believe there is a possibility the company is looking to develop a casino in the area.

Registered with the Secretary of State’s office last month, NC Development Holdings is linked to Maryland-based casino developer The Cordish Companies, according to filings retrieved by WNCN. The specific plans for the site are yet to be disclosed.

Notably, the proposed site is adjacent to Camp Carefree, a facility that provides camping experiences for children with chronic illnesses and disabilities. Some neighbors have raised concerns about the potential impact of a casino on the camp’s operations, as per the cited source.

The issue of rezoning is expected to come before the Rockingham County Board of Commissioners on August 21, according to Chairman Mark Richardson.

Rockingham County is the home of Republican Senate leader Phil Berger, who is among those advocating for the expansion of legalized gambling in North Carolina. While Berger expressed optimism about the chances of a bill passing this summer, no specific plan has been agreed upon by lawmakers thus far.

Senate leader Phil Berger

A study conducted by Spectrum Gaming on behalf of the conservative group Greater Carolina examined the potential impact of adding three more casinos in North Carolina. The study identified Rockingham, Anson, and Nash counties as potential locations. It estimated an annual “casino leakage to Virginia” of approximately $259 million in gross gaming revenue.

The recently opened casino in Danville, Virginia, approximately 25 miles from Berger’s hometown of Eden, has attracted a significant number of North Carolina residents. During a visit to Danville, Berger observed that around 80% of the vehicles in the casino parking lot bore North Carolina license plates.

The Cordish Companies, the developer associated with NC Development Holdings, is known for its expertise in developing gaming and entertainment resorts. They also specialize in creating vibrant “entertainment districts” featuring live entertainment, bars, restaurants, and various attractions.

House Speaker Tim Moore has recently mentioned the possibility of authorizing four “entertainment districts,” potentially including casinos. However, specific locations for these districts have not been disclosed by North Carolina lawmakers.

House Speaker Tim Moore

In addition to considering casinos, lawmakers in North Carolina are also discussing the legalization of video lottery terminals as part of the broader conversation about expanded gaming.

The ongoing discussions surrounding gaming come at a time when Republicans are also attempting to reach a consensus on North Carolina’s two-year state budget, which remains unresolved as the new fiscal year began on July 1.