The City of Richmond is holding a series of virtual community meetings to discuss the six casino resort proposals that have been submitted. There is one Tuesday and others are scheduled for March 30-31 and April 1.
The first two virtual meetings were held March 9 and 10.
Officials will use feedback from the community meetings to help them decide which casino proposal they will accept and place on the Nov. 2 ballot. Voters in Richmond need to approve the casino in their city.
You can find information on the meetings and process on the city website under Richmond Casino Resort Development.
Richmond is expected to make a decision on the casino in June.
The Virginia General Assembly approved legislation and it was signed into law by Gov. Ralph Northam in 2020 that authorizes the city to have a casino, subject to resident approval. Prior to requesting a casino referendum, the city must select a preferred resort casino operator and location, according to the city website.
Voters in four cities held referendums in November 2020 and approved casinos — Norfolk, Portsmouth, Bristol and Danville.
The estimated timeline by developers for casinos to open in Virginia is late 2022 or in 2023. Lottery Board executive director Kevin Hall told the Virginia House Appropriations Committee in November that temporary licensing for casino operations probably wouldn’t begin until April 2022, according to a report by the Herald Courier.
Emergency Casino Regulations in Place
Ahead of accepting applications from operators, the Virginia Lottery Board passed emergency casino regulations in February. The applications will be submitted by operators that have been approved by the four cities.
Operator license and permit requirements and fees are included in the regulations. The regulations still need be signed off by the governor in April.
According to the regulations, a facility operator license is good for 10 years, with a $15 million issuance fee. All permits and license applications are subject to a $50,000 investigation fee.
There is also a longer timeline that includes public comment periods before the permanent regulations are passed.