BRISTOL, Va. -- Bristol Virginia voters today overwhelmingly approved the proposed Hard Rock Hotel & Casino resort planned for the former Bristol Mall property.
The $400 million project received 5,547 affirmative votes compared to 2,221 votes against.
All votes are unofficial until city election officials complete their final canvass, which is planned for noon Friday.
About 3,000 voters came to the polls today. Early and absentee voting accounted for a significant part of the ballots, as more than 4,500 votes were cast before polls opened this morning.
Hard Rock International previously said it expects to submit its gaming license application to the Virginia Lottery Board once the state completes development of regulations that will govern casinos.
Three other Virginia cities - Danville, Norfolk and Portsmouth - conducted similar casino referendums today.
The project is forecast to generate up to 2,000 direct jobs, between $15 million and $20 million in tax revenues for the city and millions of gaming tax revenues to be divided among the city and 11 other Southwest Virginia localities.
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