The City of Richmond in Virginia has received bids for a casino resort by Bally’s Corp. and Cordish Cos, with both companies looking to snap up one of the most important locations in Northern Virginia for a gaming and hospitality project.
Richmond Bidding Process Begins
Virginia still has one location to go where a casino resort could potentially arrive. With significant interest in developing a project, the state is now looking to see through a proposed Richmond casino with two high-profile bidders joining the race after the process was officially started in December.
Both Bally’s Corp. and Cordish Cos entered the race on Monday proposing to pour millions to create a casino resort in the capital city. Cordish is planning to build a $600 million based on its Live! franchise whereas Bally’s pushing for a $650 million casino-hotel property, arguing that synergies with other properties in the United States and Bally’s growing use of big data would ultimately benefit Richmond more.
One of the five cities approved to host a casino resort, Richmond is also the last without a developer. All other cities so far have teamed up with established brands, including Danville and Caesars Entertainment, Norfolk and the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, Portsmouth and Rush Street Gaming, and Bristol and Hard Rock International.
Richmond decided to take slightly longer with finding the right bidder for its own land, which is precisely what began on Monday. The city has a lot of gravitational pool in Northern Virginia as it’s better-connected with the region, making for an easier drive and therefore for an expectedly higher inflow of gamers and guests.
Richmond officials will have to take into consideration both proposals and explore them on their merits, factoring in local opinion as well. A decision should be reached in June with one party winning the right to proceed with the casino resort.
Helping the Local Economy
Picking Bally’s and Cordish would come down to a close race. Both brands are capable of attracting sufficient interest from gamers and travelers, but more importantly, they are capable of creating thousands of full-time jobs and construction opportunities.
The development of the Encore Boston Harbor in Massachusetts had a proven effect on the state’s economy bringing in $1.6 billion in total. Therefore, seeing a project of this magnitude arrive would have significant economic benefits.
So, what are the companies proposing? Bally’s going with a 250-room hotel and a casino equipped with ca. 2,500 slots, 90 table games, 30 poker tables as well as dedicated high roller areas and VIP lounges.
A 3,000-seat event center would be part of the property’s makeup along with dozen restaurants and other food and beverage amenities. Bally’s targeting a 61-acre parcel, six miles from downtown Richmond, making for a well-connected property right in the heart of the city.
Bally’s own footprint is quite significant with 11 properties already and four more pending acquisition.
Cordish though is not behind at all. The proposed property would feature a 300-room hotel and 250,000 square feet of gaming space, which has not been allocated just yet. The event center proposed by Cordish is larger as well, with 4,000 seats available.
The company is bringing its unique Live! franchise to inspire an experience similar to its properties in Baltimore, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, but with a fresh twist. Cordish predicts that should it go ahead with its project, Richmond should see up to $5.3 billion in economic windfall within ten years of operation.