Gambling Legislation

Virginia voters to hit the polls again to decide Richmond’s casino fate

State lawmakers can’t stop a new ballot initiative in Richmond after the last one failed two years ago

The Richmond Office of Elections has revealed that the bid to build a casino will again be on the ballot this November for Richmond voters. Last week, the Virginia Lottery gave the green light to a preliminary application for the $562 million resort project in South Richmond, which the city and RVA Entertainment Holdings proposed. Tuesday’s court order certified the city to place the proposition on the November 7 ballot.
RVA Entertainment Holdings is the partnership between Churchill Downs Incorporated and Urban One Inc.

This past June, the Richmond City Council endorsed the proposal that gives the Urban One casino project another opportunity after voters rejected it by a slim margin in November 2021. The proposed project, According to project developers, the project would include a luxury hotel, live entertainment venues, conference centers, a casino, a sportsbook, various restaurants and a 55-acre park.

The proposed casino and its place on the ballot in Richmond have been contentious for several years. Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney hasn’t wavered in backing a Southside casino location. At the same time, state Senator Joe Morrisey and Delegate Kim Taylor believe Petersburg is a more suitable location for this type of major project.

If the proposal is approved, Richmond will receive a one-time upfront payment of $26.5 million for the project, according to developers. The proposed site of the casino resort would be at the intersection of Walmsley Boulevard and Trenton Avenue. If approved, the project is expected to provide 1,300 jobs and about $30 million annually in revenue.

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