The Richmond City Council has advanced the “ONE Casino & Resort” proposal, putting it one step closer for voters to approve in November.
After a public hearing in Virginia on Tuesday, the council voted to approve ONE Casino. The city will submit the preferred operator/site to the Virginia Lottery Board for pre-certification, according to a news release from the city.
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Upon successful 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 on the $517 million project.
“ONE Casino + Resort is a $562.5 million project that will create 1,300 well-paying jobs with benefits in South Richmond, and every Richmond resident will benefit from the new revenue created by the project,” Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said in the release. “City Council’s vote tonight paves the way for every voting Richmond resident to have their voice heard on this important project.”
Alfred Liggins, Urban One CEO, the company is “extremely grateful and proud that Richmond City Council has voted to move forward with a first-class casino and resort in Richmond’s Southside,” according to NBC 12 in Richmond.
”This will be a transformational project for the city, attracting additional tourism revenue that will lift up all of Richmond and improve the quality of life for those who call this city home,” Liggins said in the statement. “At the same time, ONE will create 1,300 well-paying jobs with profit-sharing for employees and pathways to successful careers. We will also be true community partners, investing with non-profits and worthwhile causes across the city.”
He said the company would outline the casino proposal with Richmond voters in advance of the November referendum, according to NBC 12.
A Black-owned media conglomerate, Urban One teamed up 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.
Richmond Had Six Casino Proposals
On May 20, the city’s Resort Casino Evaluation Panel announced it would recommend Urban One’s ONE Casino + Resort to move forward as its preferred casino gaming operator. The evaluation panel said it made its recommendation based on factors including the project’s “feasibility and sustainability, proposed location, economic development impact, financial revenue impact and community benefits.”
The city panel eliminated a proposal from the Cordish Cos., which had proposed the Live! Casino and Hotel Richmond at 1301 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd. The $600 million project included a 300-room hotel, 4,000-capacity entertainment venue, and 18 bars and restaurants.
Six proposals were submitted to the city for consideration. The number of proposals was reduced to three at the end of March. That left bids from Bally’s, Urban One and Cordish Cos. Bally’s was eliminated in late April.