Richmond Not Done Yet Trying to Bring Casino to the Virginia City

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Voters in Richmond, VA, stunned the city last November when they rejected a casino measure. The city had been working with Urban One to develop a gaming property but needed local voters’ approval. The approval never came, but the city isn’t giving up on its dreams. Reva Trammell of the Richmond City Council is expected to introduce a resolution today in support of another casino referendum, according to an exclusive report by local media outlet WRIC. The measure will be backed by the same group of people and businesses that supported the Urban One project.

Richmond Determined to Have a Casino

Richmond locals rejected the plans for the media company’s casino during the November 2021 elections. If the proposal had been approved, the development could have been built on Richmond’s southside near Phillip Morris’ manufacturing campus.

Trammell will present the resolution Monday. After that, the matter will go to a hearing. However, the City council will not vote on the matter at today’s meeting. Trammell indicated that she’s working to officially get the ball rolling for a new casino in her locality. She began gathering signatures for a second referendum after the original plan failed. The city council member represents Richmond’s 8th district, which leans towards accepting Urban One’s proposition in the November election.

If Richmond City Council approves her resolution, then the city would enter into another host community agreement with RVA Entertainment Holdings, LLC.

Urban One May Have Other Plans

Urban One’s interest in building a Richmond casino isn’t known. Petersburg officials expressed interest in negotiating with Urban One following the Richmond referendum. If the company decides to settle on Petersburg, Richmond will need to find a new operator.

That could ultimately mean an entirely new selection process. Proposals would need to be presented by candidates hoping to build a casino in the city, which would then lead to a drawn-out selection process. Only after that would the measure be presented to voters. Richmond has a lot of work to do if it wants to get the idea presented to residents before the upcoming November elections.

There’s another obstacle that would have to be overcome, and it is an even bigger challenge. Recently, Senator Joe Morrissey stated that he would stand in the way of any further referendum on the Richmond casino issue over the next five years. He has written a bill in this regard, saying that the state has to “respect the democratic vote.”

According to reports, Morrissey supports the plan to bring the casino to Petersburg, located about 25 miles south of Richmond.

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