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by Brandon Jarvis

The City of Petersburg is advertising an event for free turkeys being held at the library downtown. The event is sponsored by The Cordish Companies, the group trying to bring a casino to Petersburg.

The group is trying to bring a casino resort to the area. First, they would have to be approved by the state government before the city’s voters would vote to allow or not allow the measure with a referendum vote.

Richmond is also trying to open a casino after their failed effort in 2021. Voters in the city did not approve of the referendum for a casino in South Richmond.

It’s unclear where the electorate stands on this issue in Petersburg if they do get the opportunity for a referendum vote.

“Getting a free turkey doesn’t obligate anyone to support a casino anymore than getting a T-shirt obligates one to vote for the candidate who’s giving them out,” said Barb Rudolph, the founder of Clean Sweep Petersburg.

“Gawd, can people be bought that easy,” another resident said on the post. “That’s why I said what I did — would never advise someone to pass up a free turkey, but would advise them to recognize they’re not indebted to their benefactor,” Rudolph responded.

“My question is when they worked with others to open up casinos did they distribute turkeys at the Police Station? Everything free ain’t free,” another resident commented on the post. “Wake up Petersburg. Why didn’t they reach out to help the homeless, the youth, the public educational system?”

“It amazes me in a city with so much need how negative folks can be,” another resident said on the post. “It’s a turkey. Take it. Don’t take it. I can’t imagine that anyone’s vote can be swayed by a free turkey.”

According to a JLARC study, if Petersburg opens a casino by 2027, within its first year of operation, it would generate $204 million in gaming revenue, over $12.2 million in taxes for the city and about $12.3 million in state taxes.

“Too bad about the timing,” Rudolph said. “If only Election Day and Thanksgiving Day were closer together; we could have been treated to our incumbent city council members being on hand to pass out the golden casino turkeys! Just imagine the photo ops!”

Related: Study shows Petersburg and Richmond could sustain casino’s together

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By vascope