Richmond Will Vote On Casino Referendum A Second Time

Citizens in Richmond, Virginia, will get a second chance to decide on a proposed casino after a court ruled that a referendum on One Casino and Resort can be placed in front of voters. Last November, voters narrowly defeated the casino measure by a 51-49 percent margin.

The $565 million casino and resort would be operated by Urban One and built on land owned by Philip Morris adjacent to Interstate Highway 95 on the south side of Richmond. Opponents cited concerns over gambling addiction and crime, but Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney (D) supports the plan that his administration claims will add at least 1,000 jobs to the community.

“I believe this was a $565 million opportunity lost to create well-paying jobs, expand opportunity, keep taxes low and increase revenue to meet the needs of our growing city,” Stoney said after the referendum was defeated by a slim margin in 2021.

Several other communities in Virginia passed referendums approving casino projects in 2021: Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, and Portsmouth included. But a group of detractors in Richmond successfully blocked the plan jointly proposed by Maryland-based Urban One and Colonial Downs and Rosie’s Gaming Emporium, owned by Peninsula Pacific Entertainment.

The Richmond casino would be known as One Casino and Resort, and has received endorsements from several organizations and high profile individuals. Former Governors Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam both support the referendum, as does the Richmond Free Press, actor/comedian Jamie Foxx, and Richmond Region Tourism.

Land-Bases Casinos Planned To Open In Virginia As Soon As 2022

Virginia has legalized land-based casinos, but online casinos and poker sites are still currently illegal in the state. But several casinos are planned to be opened soon, possibly as early as 2022.

The cities of Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, and Portsmouth each overwhelmingly voted to allow casinos in their communities, and plans have already begun on those projects.

Caesars Entertainment will operate the Horseshoe Danville, which is expected to be opened in mid-2022. In Bristol, anticipation is high for The Hard Rock Bristol Resort and Casino, the latest in the Hard Rock-themed gaming and resort venues. In Norfolk, the Pamunkey Tribe will open and operate a casino in that community near the Elizabeth River. In 2023, the Rivers Casino Portsmouth will open, in conjunction with BetRivers Sportsbook.

Sports Betting Options In Virginia

Virginia currently has several legal sportsbooks, including DraftKings, BetMGM Virginia, Caesars, BetRivers Virginia, FanDuel, PointsBet, and Unibet. The state opened online sports betting in January of 2021. See all the best Virginia sports betting promotions, including free bets and risk-free betting deals you won’t find anywhere else.

About the Author

Dan Holmes

Online Betting Expert