Richmond Circuit Court in Virginia has approved a referendum and special election in November for a Richmond casino. It would be one of five cities permitted to have casinos under VA gambling law.
The general public will now vote on Nov. 2 and decide if the $562.5 million Urban One Casino and Resort will go ahead at 2001 Walmsley Blvd. and 4700 Trenton Ave. in Richmond. If passed, the casino is expected to open in October 2024 with a 250-room hotel opening one year later.
The facility will be built at the site of the former Philip Morris Operations Center on Richmond’s Southside. The project is already behind its original plan. Initially the casino was to open by December 2023.
The city isn't new to gambling establishments. Rosie’s Gaming Emporium, owned and operated by Virginia-based Colonial Downs Group, has been operating in Richmond since 2019.
Urban One Casino Chosen
Richmond’s Resort Casino Evaluation Panel selected Urban One Casino and Resort in April after reviewing six proposals from well-known casino companies like Cordish Cos., Bally's and Golden Nugget, to name a few. City Council approved Urban One in June. By law only one casino can be built in Richmond.
With the petition approved and referendum added to the ballot for the November elections, the Richmond Court Clerk will publish notices of the coming vote in newspapers of general circulation in the City of Richmond once a week for three consecutive weeks before the election, according to court documents.
“We thank the court for its review and order to place on the November ballot a referendum on the One Resort & Casino project,” Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said in a statement. “This economic development project will bring 1,300 well-paying jobs and millions in much-needed revenue to our city while continuing the revitalization of South Richmond. And as we said from the beginning, the people will have the final say.”
Legislation adopted by the Virginia General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Ralph Northam authorized the city to host a casino gaming establishment, subject to the residents of Richmond approving a casino referendum.
4 VA Cities Approve Casinos in 2020
Virginia cities of Bristol, Danville, Norfolk and Portsmouth passed referendums in November 2020, and the proposed casino operators are working on submitting applications to the Virginia Lottery Board for final approval.
In addition to casinos, online VA sports betting launched in January and currently has eight sportsbooks live for bettors. Barstool Sportsbook went live last week in the state.
Off-track horse race betting is also available at several locations in Virginia. Online betting is available through TVG, twinspires.com, XpressBet and NYRABets.