Urban One’s Virginia-based One Casino + Resort has moved one step closer, after the Richmond city council approved the ‘Host Community Agreement’ for the property.
With this green-light, as well as the required nod from the Virginia Lottery having been secured, the city will proceed with petitioning the Circuit Court for a November 2 referendum on casino gaming in Richmond.
If the referendum is approved by Richmond voters, the $562m project, which beat off competition from numerous competing proposals, is scheduled to open in October 2024.
The project is estimated to generate over $500m in direct, indirect, and induced tax revenues and community benefits to Richmond over the first ten years of operation.
“I congratulate the city council for approving a resort casino Host Community Agreement that puts Richmonders first,” said Mayor Levar Stoney.
“The action paves the way for city voters to have the final say at the ballot box to move this project forward in South Richmond. If approved, ONE Casino + Resort will create over 1,300 good paying jobs with benefits and generate an estimated $172m in new general fund revenue over the five years of the project.
“Richmond needs both. Great new jobs for our residents and new revenue to help fund our priorities and keep taxes low for everyone.”
In may, the casino evaluation panel in Richmond recommended that the One Casino + Resort move forward as the region’s preferred casino gaming operator at the proposed site on Walmsley Boulevard in South Richmond.
Urban One was battling it out with the Cordish Companies’ $600m Live! Casino & Hotel Richmond for right to be the selected participant, after Bally’s Corporation’s $650m Bally’s Richmond Casino Resort was rejected in April.
This itself followed the field being halved in March, when Golden Nugget, Wind Creek Hospitality, and Pamunkey Indian Tribe & Reservation were named as those not advancing to the next round of consideration.
This was said to be due to factors such as lack of site control, concerns about the feasibility of financial projections, lack of organisational experience and/or deficiency of the proposal.