Developer Sues City of Norfolk in Casino Dispute

Cordish Companies

Cordish Companies is suing the City of Norfolk for $100 million, alleging in its complaint that in a 2013 agreement to develop the Waterside property, the city promised to support Cordish’s effort to build a casino if casinos were legalized. The city is supporting a different proposal led by the Pamunkey Tribe, approved by the voters in November 2020. City Attorney Bernard Pishko said the complaint is not based in fact.

The Cordish lawsuit states, “Instead of keeping their contractual promises to ND [Norfolk District Associates, a Cordish LLC], Defendants, motivated by a personal agenda, conspired with the Pamunkey Tribe, Yarbrough, and Golden Eagle to deprive ND of its rights to develop a casino at Waterside.”

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Portsmouth City Council Approves Casino Rezoning, But Race Is on to Compete with Pending Norfolk Casino

The Portsmouth City Council approved rezoning and use permits for the Rivers Casino project in several five-to-two votes on Tuesday. Vice Mayor DeAndre Barnes and Councilman Mark  Whitaker opposed the changes. The council will have to confirm the votes in a follow-up meeting in June, and licensing from the Virginia Lottery is still pending according to But pressure is on, since Norfolk has its own new casino project, the Headwaters Resort and Casino, expected to open in 2023. The Portsmouth casino is expected to open sometime in 2022 or 2023.

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