North Carolina Delays Commercial Casino Plans Amidst Strong Local Opposition


Despite strong discussions earlier in the year about the possibility of legalizing slot machines and table games within North Carolina’s capital, Raleigh, it appears that commercial casinos won’t be coming to the region anytime soon. Local governments and boards, however, have been encouraged to contribute their perspectives on this controversial subject. Particular interest and support for casino development have been discernable in Roanoke Rapids, and three Halifax County tourism and infrastructure-centric boards.

The spark behind these casino conversations was North Carolina Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, representing Rockingham. Berger was a keen advocate for introducing a casino concession in the state’s 2023-25 budget bill. His proposal was to allow a commercial casino to operate within Rockingham, Anson, and Nash counties.

However, Berger’s attempts were staunchly blocked, with local authorities strongly criticizing his approach. They accused him and other predominant Republicans of attempting to enforce the acceptance of casinos within communities that might not be prepared for it. Both Berger and House of Representatives Speaker, Tim Moore from Cleveland, have stated that they will most likely present an individual gaming bill in the 2024 legislative session.

Their view is inclined towards permitting commercial casinos along the border with Virginia, where casinos are opening, and potentially along central interstates like I-95. The aim is to retain gaming money within the state borders.

While representatives in the three proposed counties publicly voiced their opposition to Berger and Moore’s plans, officials from another county in North Carolina expressed a willingness to consider a casino development if the state legislation permitted it. The Halifax County Economic Development Commission, the Halifax County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Halifax County Business Horizons, and the Roanoke Rapids Sanitary District have all passed resolutions in favor of considering a casino.

Despite the backing from these multiple boards, the Halifax County Board of Commissioners is not unanimously in support of this vision. Various commissioners voted against the resolution due to potential concerns around increased crime levels and addiction issues that may arise with the establishment of a casino.

Commercial casinos come with renowned economic benefits. However, with valid fears surrounding potential societal drawbacks such as crime and addiction, the debate around their legalization rages on.

As part of the West Island Blog team, we believe it’s crucial to consider all perspectives in discussions like this. While some might be hesitant about casinos, there are more secure and responsible ways of enjoying a spot of gambling, such as online platforms which maintain strict regulations and protections for players. Many Canadians regularly search for the best online casinos. If you’re one of them, why not check out our list of this month’s top online casinos. They offer a convenient, safe, and secure way to indulge in the thrilling world of gambling from the comfort of your own home.


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