Richmond Residents Provide Input on New Virginia Casino
Residents in Richmond, Virginia have been asked to provide insight into what they would like to see regarding a casino resort in the area.
Gambling is expanding across the United States, particularly in Virginia. Five cities were recently approved for a casino resort build after legislation was signed into law by Governor Ralph Northam. Of the cities approved, Richmond is one that decided to postpone the gaming ballot referendum until next year. Before the vote takes place, the city’s Department of Economic Development is requesting feedback from residents of the capital city on what they would like the casino to offer.
Considering All Elements
Residents in Richmond were asked about the potential economic benefits of a casino and how they felt these items ranked based on importance. For the most part, residents were focused on job creation, new ta revenue and economic prosperity. Minority business enterprise ownership also made the list.
The survey also asked what features the casino should offer, such as green space, a hotel, indoor/outdoor entertainment, and a conference center. Details of the survey will be reviewed and considered when detailing how the casino resort will be constructed. The survey remains open to residents through December 14.
Residents of the city are in charge of the casino project essentially. Governor Northan signed a gaming bill, the first time that commercial casino gaming was legalized in the state. Richmond is among five cities that meet qualifications for a casino to bring more economic growth. On November 3, four ballot referendums in the four other cities passed, with each area to add a casino.
In Richmond, the vote will take place net year. The casino development is dependent on the referendum passing via resident vote. If voters of Richmond go to the polls and do not approve the referendum, then no casino will be created.
In Richmond, casino operators interested in creating a venue in the region have until February 2021 to supply a bid. Interest has already been shown by the Pamunkey Indian Tribe. As the closing date for bids draws near, we imagine even more operators will come forward.
The Pamunkey Indian Tribe has already been chosen by Norfolk as its casino operator. In Danville, the city is working with Caesars Entertainment to create a new venue. For the city of Bristol, Hard Rock International will offer services. The final city, Portsmouth, will be operating a venue with the help of Rush Street Gaming.
For Richmond, since it is the capital city, it is expected to bring the most attention. We could se other entities like Caesars and Hard Rock vie for this location as well. There is still plenty of time to bid for the venue and the prime real estate is sure to appeal to many companies moving forward.
According to a report by the Virginia Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, the five casinos in Virginia will generate as much as $260 million each year in gaming taxes. This is of course, once the market reaches maturity. Of that amount, around 31% is expected to come from Richmond.
While the approval of the casinos is a win for Virginia, it comes at a time when gaming is not nearly as successful as it once was. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused casinos to shut down or operate at a much lower capacity, which means less revenue earnings. As these projects will take some time to complete, hopefully the pandemic will be under control so that the new casinos in Virginia can open and offer services without worry of this terrible virus.
The pandemic could also cut into construction time depending on how many people would be on site and state regulations regarding the pandemic at the time. This could lead to further delays in launching gambling services in Virginia.