The opposition to establishing a gambling casino in Rockingham County near the Guilford County line has moved to Raleigh.

According to a press release from Citizens for Good Growth in Rockingham County, the organization has been established as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit.  The purpose of the organization is “to promote economic development policies aimed at improving residents’ lives and growing our communities and businesses in healthy ways.”

The press release states, “A delegation of citizens from Rockingham County, Nash County, and other counties where casinos may be build or directly impacted under proposed state legislation” would be holding a press conference in Raleigh on Tuesday, Sept. 5 outside the North Carolina General Assembly Legislative Building.

Following the press conference people aligned with the organization planned to meet with legislators and their staffs.

Hundreds of those opposed to a casino in Rockingham County attended the meeting of the Rockingham County Board of Commissioners on Monday, Aug. 21 to oppose a request to rezone 192 acres along US 220 from Agricultural Residential to Highway Commercial. One of the permitted uses in the Highway Commercial zoning district is “electronic gaming operations.”

Despite the opposition, the Rockingham County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to rezone the property.

According to the press release, “affected landowners will be challenging in court the recent rezoning decision by the Board of Commissioners.”

The press release also states, “Citizens of these counties have grave concerns about the legalization of casino gambling and video lottery terminals. Through a significant deluge of lobbying and political donations, gambling companies have attempted to drown out the voices of everyday, local citizens opposed to casinos and video lottery terminals in their neighborhoods and communities. Local citizens, with various political backgrounds, have banded together to make their voices heard.”

No bill has been introduced in the legislature to expand the legality of casino gambling in the state beyond those that are currently located on Native American tribal lands.  However, a draft bill that will legalize gambling in three counties Rockingham, Nash and Anson has been making the rounds, and many people say that the plan is to include the legislation in the state budget bill.