Richmond Casino Plans Heads to November Ballot

Richmond casino conceptual rendering by Pamunkey indian tribe

The Richmond Circuit Court has approved the new casino plans to be added to the November ballot as a referendum, for voters to decide upon.

This November, citizens will have their say as to if a casino should be created in Richmond, Virginia. The city’s Circuit Court officially signed off on a petition provided by the City Council to place the question on the fall ballot. The decision was made in early August and just made public this week. The court approved the petition, stating it was filed correctly based in city code.

Plan in Motion

When voting takes place, residents will be asked if casino gaming should be allowed at an establishment in Richmond at 2001 Walmsley Blvd. and 4700 Trenton Ave. as approved by the state Lottery Board. Voters can say yes or no. A yes vote by the majority will allow the ONE Casino + Resort to come to fruition.

The casino property will cost $600 million to create and will be located near the Philip Morris tobacco plant. Urban One is behind the project, a company with zero casino experience. The media company is a black owned business and will be the first black owned casino operator in the United States.

Urban One is working with Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E) to design and create the unique project. P2E is well known in the gambling industry having casino operations in New York state and Iowa as well as options in Virginia via Rosie’s Gaming Emporium. The company is also invested in the MGM National Harbor venue located in Maryland.

The development will include 250 guest rooms along with a casino that is 100,000 square feet in size. The property will sit on 100 acres of land. For casino games, ONE will feature 1,800 slot machines and 100 table games. There will also be a sportsbook.

ONE Casino is headed by Urban One and P2E but also has several diverse investors involved. With the group of investors, the casino is providing opportunities for minority ownership with representation by some people located in Richmond. The website of the property says the goal is to lift people up and build wealth within the local community.

Long Process

Last November, four other cities in Virginia decided to vote on casino plans, without having operators in place. Norfolk, Bristol, Portsmouth, and Danville residents all voted yes and casino plans are in motion. Richmond officials decided to wait a year in order to create a full plan.

During the year, the capital city received interest from six companies. Along with Urban One, Bally’s Corporation, Wind Creek Hospitality, The Cordish Companies, The Pamunkey Indian Tribe, and the Golden Nugget all submitted plans.

One by one, the city decided to cut down the number of companies in contention for licensing. In the end, it was Urban One that was selected. If approved this November, the casino can finally start the construction phase and get closer to offering services.

All of the cities selected for new casino properties were chosen due to economic troubles. The overall goal is to create the casinos in areas where development is needed. In the beginning, a set of criteria was announced, so that the list of cities could be narrowed down to the five we see today.

Now, all that’s left to do is vote on the Richmond plan and watch as the four other cities get the ball rolling with casino resort developments. Players are certainly ready to have access to full scale gaming nearby. It is expected that the new industry will fare well and bring in major revenues upon maturity.

Associate Writer: Geoff enjoys both live and online poker as well as casino games, and is particularly knowledgeable about the legal landscape of online gambling.