As Norfolk is slowly making progress in its negotiations with a developer over the long run on line casino plans, a authorized battle began by one other metropolis’s enterprise accomplice over the on line casino improvement rights continues to be in courtroom.
The Baltimore-based developer Cordish Firms took town to courtroom in 2021, arguing that Norfolk violated its contract and actively sought to exclude the waterside space subsequent to Harbor Park from being the positioning that might host a on line casino. Final yr, the litigation was dismissed by a Richmond decide, however Cordish Firms appealed the ruling.
At a listening to that came about on July twelfth in Virginia’s Appellate Courtroom, the events argued over the language of the 2013 Cordish Firms contract with town and the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority.
The event operator’s authorized consultant, lawyer John Lynch, defined that the scope of the Waterside lease language relating to the institution of a possible on line casino was not taken under consideration by the trial courtroom. The corporate initially argued that it will have by no means agreed on the present situations of the deal if town had not additionally agreed to supply some monetary help to Cordish Firms’ on line casino bid. Lawyer Lynch shared that the corporate would have by no means agreed to make a $43-million funding if town of Norfolk had not agreed to subsidize the mission.
Norfolk Sport Permission to Pamunkey Indians’ Land Deal Again in 2019
Beneath the provisions of the Waterside lease settlement of the Norfolk District Associates, neither town nor the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority would subsidize or present any grants for an leisure and eating space improvement of greater than 75,000 sq. toes much like the mission for a complete of 10 years.
In courtroom filings, town of Norfolk argued that the Waterside lease by no means allowed for the place for use as a on line casino, so it couldn’t be thought-about the identical because the HeadWaters Resort and On line casino mission.
Town of Norfolk gave the inexperienced gentle to a land take care of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe in 2019, with that transfer making ready the stage for the event of the HeadWaters Resort and On line casino located in shut proximity to Harbor Park. Within the following yr, metropolis voters gave their approval to a referendum looking for to permit playing on the proposed location. Nevertheless, in 2023, negotiations over the on line casino have confronted quite a few obstacles and plans for the on line casino mission haven’t been formally authorized.
Now, town of Norfolk claims that whereas the Waterside lease contract opens the prospect for negotiations to amend the lease if state lawmakers deliver some modifications to playing legal guidelines to permit gaming on the location, that didn’t occur, so town has no obligation to subsidize the corporate and assist it acquire state Authorities approvals for a on line casino.
The authorized motion seeks damages totalling $100 million. There is no such thing as a deadline for the courtroom to make a closing ruling on the litigation. As defined by a metropolis spokesperson, in the interim, the lease settlement at Waterside between Norfolk District Associates and the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority stays in full impact.