The truth: While the city does not receive “tax revenue,” the city will receive significant revenue from the project in the form of shared gaming revenue. The Pamunkey Indian Tribe will pay the City 4% of Net Gaming Revenues with a guaranteed minimum of $3 million annually, with an adjuster that will cause that base number to grow along with Norfolk property taxes, and upward projections reaching $33 million annually. Even at the minimum payment required ($3 million annually), this would make this project the largest private source of revenue for the city.


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The truth: This is the ONLY large development project that the City has featured that WON’T require a taxpayer subsidy. The Pamunkey Indian Tribe will pay for all of the infrastructure and site work needed for this project, and the Pamunkey is the ONLY private developer who has committed to help pay for Norfolk’s flood resiliency plan. The tribe has not asked for a single dollar in city or state grants or incentive packages to locate in Norfolk.


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The truth: Nothing could be further from the truth. The City didn’t give anything away. The Pamunkey Indian Tribe will pay $9,937,500 for the 13.25 acres which is fair market value based on an appraisal conducted by an independent appraisal firm selected by the City and the largest purchase price ever paid for waterfront property in Norfolk. Compare the fair market price that the Pamunkey paid to other landmark downtown projects such as the $1/year that the Waterfront developer pays per year for that property and the far-below market value that the developer of the Main paid for that property.


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The truth: There’s no more need for additional emergency services than for almost any other development on that property, and the gaming revenue shared with the city will more than compensate for any responses to medical or other emergencies at the resort and casino. Also, unlike other developments of this type, the Pamunkey Tribe will have additional EMS and security resources that they will pay for out of pocket.


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The truth: The project will generate at least $3 million annually with upward projections of $33 million annually for the City. This money can be used for education, flood mitigation or other key priorities as determined by the City Council and Norfolk citizens. City Council recently voted to dedicate all of the money from the sale of the property to help fund capital improvements to Booker T. Washington and Maury High Schools.


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The truth: Sovereign land is not new or unusual; 39 states have Indian tribes with sovereign land held in either state or federal trust. For example, the Seminole Tribe in Florida has a number of resorts and casinos across the entire state of Florida, including right in the middle of Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, Florida. The Senecas have property in downtown Niagara Falls, including the downtown convention center. The results have been extraordinary and positive for the surrounding communities. Members of the City’s leadership visited a tribal gaming casino to get a better understanding of the cooperation between the neighboring locality and the tribe.


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The truth: The property purchased by the Pamunkey Tribe has been vacant for a number of years and has limited the City’s ability to generate tax revenue. By purchasing the property, the Tribe provides Norfolk with an immediate infusion of revenue while also becoming a more sustainable revenue stream for many years to come. Furthermore, only a portion of Harbor Park would become part of the Pamunkey’s tribal land, and the use of that land would be governed by the Intergovernmental Agreement between the City and the Tribe, and also heavily regulated under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The portion of the Elizabeth River Trail on the property will remain in place and open to the public, and the Tribe will work closely with the City to ensure this important Norfolk feature will be properly preserved.


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The truth: Throughout its more than 10,000-year history, ancestors of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe have lived, farmed, fished, hunted and traded with other tribes across much of central and eastern Virginia, including in Norfolk. The Western concept of private property ownership cannot be used to define ancestral Native American lands and no one tribe’s claim to ancestral land in a Land Into Trust application would preclude any other tribe from claiming the same generalized land, territory or region in their own application. One tribe’s past use of land does not mean that another tribe didn’t use that same land.


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Why I'm All In

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"This project will help provide much-needed revenue for our schools and preventing it from going forward would be a detriment to our students' futures."

Yvonne Peele-Wagner - Broad Creek Resident
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"The reparative element is one of the most important aspects of this discussion for me. Creating opportunity for our indigenous Americans that also boosts our Norfolk economy and tourism is a win win situation."

Charles Rasputin - Neon District Co-Founder
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"I support this resort casino because it will bring new jobs to our shared community and revitalize a part of our city that has been vacant for decades. This development will elevate Norfolk with a world class development we can all be proud of."

Raytron White - Grandy Village Tenant Management Corporation, President
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"I support the Norfolk casino project because it will bring thousands of jobs to our community and put our city on the map. A fun and creative project like this can transform our city into a destination that people all over the country will want to visit."

Marqueta Harris - Norfolk Resident
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"It is time for Norfolk to be bold. I’m all in because I believe this resort will create additional economic opportunities for families to live, work and thrive. We can’t let this once in a lifetime opportunity pass us by."

Lyle Beckner - 4th Generation Norfolk Resident
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"I have lived in Norfolk over 25 years and I desperately want MY city of Norfolk to get this revenue in perpetuity, to mitigate flooding and help rebuild and refurbish our schools. That's why I'm all in!"

Kevin Krigsvold - Pamunkey Tribal member & Larchmont Resident
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"I have volunteered in Norfolk public schools for more than two decades, so I am well aware of the importance of additional funding for public education. The Pamunkey casino resort has the ability to fill the gaps in our budget for education and give the children of Norfolk what they need to be successful."

Peggy Scott - Oceanview Resident
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"As a life-long resident, veteran and father, I know that it is time for our city to get a much needed boost. This project will create new jobs in all sectors that will help our entire city rise up economically. Jobs that will allow our kids to want to stay in Norfolk, which is important to me. This project is coming at the perfect time and that is why I am all in!"

David Brenner - Roosevelt Gardens Resident