Richmond casino referendum faces second rejection in 60-40 split


Virginia’s second referendum to introduce a Richmond-based casino has fallen through once more, as state elections saw the proposal rejected in a 60-40 split. 

Signalling the casino proposal’s second rejection after it previously fell through with a 51 per cent vote against in 2021, the Richmond Grand Casino & Resort would have seen Urban One and Churchill Downs construct and operate the $1.3bn resort in the southside of the city. 

Witnessing the downfall of its second Richmond casino referendum, Richmond Wins, Vote Yes, responded:  “We are proud to have run a community-centred 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 Southside who poured their hearts into this project.”

While the proposal received a larger amount of votes against this time round, the campaigners had been eager to have the venue approved in hopes that a casino resort in the city’s south side would see the area benefit from economic growth. 

With Virginian casinos currently operating in Bristol, Portsmouth and Danville, Richmond’s Mayor Levar Stoney supported the declined project early, acknowledging the economic impact witnessed in Bristol after its Hard Rock casino opened in July 2022. 

Stoney stated: “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.”

In addition to those aforementioned Virginia locations, a fourth establishment is under construction in Norfolk. Each of these venues have been launched in response to the state’s General Assembly legalisation of land-based gaming in 2020. 

While many had planned for Richmond to be the latest destination for a casino resort, attention may turn to another area as plans for a third referendum become increasingly unlikely.