Gambling Legislation

Voters in Richmond, Virginia say no to casino

Voters in Richmond, Virginia say no to casino

Richmond residents defeat the casino ballot measure for a second time

Richmond, Virginia’s, second attempt at a casino referendum was voted down on Tuesday by a more significant margin than in 2021, with about 58% of Richmond voters saying no to the proposed $562 million Richmond Grand Resort & Casino project.

Virginia residents of Manassas Park also voted to reject a referendum proposing a Rosie’s Gaming Emporium to be built by Churchill Downs in their district. Pro-casino PAC Richmond Wins, Vote Yes said about the second defeat of the Richmond casino referendum, “We are proud to have run a community-centered campaign to create more opportunities for residents of this great city to rise into the middle class. We are grateful to the thousands of Richmonders who voted for good jobs and a stronger city, especially those in South Side who poured their hearts into this project.”

The project’s corporate backers, Urban One and Churchill Downs, spent over $10 million for ads and get-out-the-vote endeavors, including a free Isley Brothers concert and funded food truck meals for voters over that last month.

The pro-casino side was also plagued by recent reports of antisemitic and racially callous speech on Richmond’s Urban One-owned radio stations.

Wealthier North Side and West End voters said no to the 202 casino referendum, with South Side and East End residents in mostly Black districts voting for approval. The 2023 result was similar, as South Side precincts and some in Richmond’s East End mostly voted “yes.”

Casino supporter and Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney issued a statement saying, “I will continue to be a voice for communities that have been historically overlooked and underserved. I will work for more accessible and affordable child care, for good-paying jobs and for an abundance of opportunities for ALL Richmonders — no matter their zip code or socioeconomic status.”

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