BRISTOL, Va. — Developers of the proposed Bristol Resort and Casino have contributed more than $300,000 to the various campaigns in the upcoming Virginia legislative elections through a new political action committee.
The casino project is a joint effort between Jim McGlothlin, president of The United Co. and Clyde Stacy, CEO of Par Ventures — both of Bristol, Virginia. Collectively they have contributed $550,000 to Betting on Virginia Jobs, a Richmond political action committee, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.
Each contributed $50,000 back in April to establish the committee. Since then, the United Co. donated $150,000 on Aug. 15 and $75,000 on Sept. 30. Stacy donated $50,000 on Aug. 16, and Par Ventures contributed $100,000 on Aug. 15. Stacy contributed an additional $75,000 on Oct. 1, VPAP.org records show.
Last year the General Assembly approved legislation that could pave the way for commercial casino operations in three economically challenged cities — Bristol, Danville and Norfolk — if approved by voter referendums. The process is currently on hold pending completion of a study by the Joint Legislative Audit Review Commission, and the legislation is subject to ratification during the 2020 General Assembly.
In addition, the Pamunkey Indian Tribe is looking to establish two casinos in Virginia — either through federal approval or if the state bill is ratified — that the tribe could agree to operate under state law.
The 2019 legislation specified tax revenues generated by a commercial casino would be divided to include surrounding counties and cities, not just the host city.
Between Aug. 6 and Sept. 20, Betting on Virginia Jobs gave $311,500 to 50 different state Senate and House campaigns on both sides of the aisle.
Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment, R-James City, received $50,000. The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus received $25,000, as did Del. Eileen Filler-Corn, D-Fairfax.
Democratic Sen. Louise Lucas of Portsmouth, who helped carry last year’s bill, received $15,000, as did Del. Terry Kilgore, R-Scott, who is unopposed in the 1st District. Del. Israel O’Quinn, R-Washington, who is also unopposed, received $12,000.
Contributions of $10,000 each went to Del. Todd Pillion, R-Washington, who is running for the 40th District Senate seat; Sen. Ben Chafin, R-Russell; Del. Jeff Campbell, R-Smyth; Del. Will Morefield, R- Tazewell; and Del. Nick Rush, R-Christiansburg. Will Wampler of Abingdon, who is the GOP nominee to replace Pillion in the 4th District, received $8,000.
“We know first-hand the significant challenges our local economy faces,” according to a statement from the Bristol casino team. “These contributions help make sure our elected officials in Richmond also understand these challenges and the importance of finding solutions to these issues. This project will benefit residents in Bristol and across Southwest Virginia by bringing much-needed new jobs and additional tax revenue to the region.”
Betting on Virginia Jobs reported a $110,356 balance on Sept. 30, according to VPAP, which didn’t include Stacy’s $75,000 contribution on Oct. 1.