Casino News

More Research on Bristol Casino Resort Construction’s Possible Effects on Community Needed, Experts Say

Yesterday, a gambling addiction expert revealed that the survey which has been carried out on the relationship between the proximity of a casino and mental health disorders was inconclusive.

The announcement comes only a day after more than 1,000 people came out to publicly show their disapproval of a proposal under which the vacant Bristol Mall would be turned into a casino facility. However, according to organizers of the protest, the casino project has faced fierce opposition from the local community where many religious people currently live. Event organizers further noted that the Sunday rally was attended by over 40 local pastors along with members of their congregation.

The protesters have shared their concerns with the possible negative effects of the eventual addition of a casino in the region, saying that such a step will lead to a sharp increase in the number of people suffering from mental health disorders, not to mention that it will boost poverty rates in the area.

East Tennessee State University’s assistant professor of psychology, Dr. Meredith Ginley, has been studying problem gambling behavior for almost ten years and has worked with patients in clinical settings who have been suffering from gambling addictions and other mental health problems. As reported by, Dr. Ginley revealed in an interview that compulsive gambling can be equaled to other addictions.

“About 85% of individuals in the US will have gambled within their lifetime,” Dr. Meredith Ginley said

Locals Protest against Vacant Bristol Mall Makeover

As explained above, more than 1,000 people took part in the rally against Bristol Casino Resort Construction. The religious community and local residents tried to state their position on the matter, saying that a casino facility is not wanted.

According to experts, researchers have yet to find a clearer relationship between the increased gambling addiction rates and gambling venues’ proximity. Dr. Ginley also shared that local lawmakers should channel more money towards addiction treatment services and fund further research on the matter, especially in case they plan to support casino expansion.

As it became clear, the push for the makeover of the Bristol Mall follows the vote of Virginia City Council’s lawmakers who are aimed at using possible casino-generated revenue in order to compensate for the US$125-million city debt. Local people, however, decided to demonstrate their unwillingness to welcome a casino venue at such an easily-accessible site such as the Bristol Mall. The latter is situated in the Gate City Highway area, which is known as a high-traffic site.

So, in case that the currently vacant Bristol Mall is turned into a casino venue, a large number of people will flock to the venue, which would be great for the money flow to the casino but, according to locals, would have a devastating impact on more vulnerable individuals.

The Virginia General Assembly is set to take the issue into consideration during its next legislative session.