If Richmond voters approve a new casino in November, it will take longer than originally expected for it to open.
Urban One is targeting October 2024 for the opening of the ONE Casino in Virginia instead of late 2023, according to published reports. The information was released in a Richmond City Council committee meeting this week.
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Leonard L. Sledge, economic development director for Richmond, told the Organizational Development Committee that pushing back the date was necessary because of the time needed for Urban One to get license approval from the Virginia Lottery, according to the Richmond Free Press.
The new timeline for completion of the casino is included in two ordinances expected to be voted on by the full council July 12. The committee, which includes all nine council members, recommended the new timeline be approved, the Free Press reported.
A 250-room luxury hotel that is part of the proposed casino resort could be delayed until fall 2025, the story said .
Council Approved Casino Plans
In mid-June, the council voted to approve ONE Casino. The city then submitted the preferred operator/site to the Virginia Lottery Board for pre-certification. After the pre-certification, and approval by City Council of the full Host Community Agreement later this summer, the city will petition the Circuit Court to hold the Nov. 2 voter referendum.
The $562.5 million project is expected to bring 1,300 jobs to Richmond. Urban One, a Black-owned media conglomerate, teamed with Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, the parent company of Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums and Colonial Downs Group, and Live Nation for the proposed casino at 2001 Walmsley Blvd. in Richmond. The project would be the only Black-owned casino resort in the country.
The city’s Resort Casino Evaluation Panel recommended the Urban One proposal on May 20 over one from the Cordish Cos., which had proposed the Live! Casino and Hotel Richmond at 1301 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd.
Six proposals were originally considered by the city. That number was reduced to three at the end of March. That left bids from Bally’s, Urban One and Cordish Cos., with Bally’s being eliminated in late April.
Casinos in 4 VA Cities Making Progress
Four Virginia cities — Norfolk, Portsmouth, Danville, and Bristol — have already approved casinos through referendums last November. The Danville City Council this week approved a casino entertainment district.
Online sports betting launched in Virginia in late January and the market has proven to be hugely successful, reaching $1 billion in total handle in just over four months.