Richmond City Council passed the proposal for a $600 million ONE Casino and Resort with 8 to 1 votes. The move will now result in a referendum on the city’s ballot scheduled for November 2nd, on which local voters will decide the fate of the project.
If passed by city voters, the ONE Casino & Resort proposal will be established on 100 acres of land that is property of Altria Group Inc. on the South Side of Richmond that is known as an economically disadvantaged section of the city. For this casino project, Urban One Inc., which currently owns and operates TV One cable network, as well as 55 radio stations across the country, has joined forces with Peninsula Pacific Entertainment.
As CasinoGamesPro has reported, the project will not only feature a casino and sportsbook venue situated on 100,000 square feet of gaming space, but also a 250-room hotel, 12 bars and restaurants, and a 3,000-seat theater.
In May 2021, an advisory panel, which had previously been appointed by the city authorities, recommended the casino plan after narrowing the field from the six proposals it got in January. At the time it presented its project, Urban One said, if chosen, it would establish 1,300 permanent jobs offering a minimum wage of $15 per hour. The company also said that its casino plan would ensure a $25-million payment to the city, as well as an overall economic impact of $5.7 billion over the first ten years of operation of the casino.
Richmong Voters to Decide on the Proposed Casino’s Fate on November Ballot
Even though it caused some controversy, the casino project was supported by the majority of Richmond City Council members. Before that, the councilors heard from a number of public speakers, both in support and against the casino. As a matter of fact, the Urban One casino project was found more favorable to some of its neighbors, especially in comparison to an earlier casino proposal made by The Cordish Cos.
As mentioned above, the Richmond City Council passed the casino project with 8 to 1 votes. The only “no” vote was the one of Councilor Katherine Jordan, who is a representative of the district where The Cordish Cos. would have established its casino project. Earlier this spring, Councilor Jordan said that she would oppose the ONE Casino and Resort but after she heard the opinions of many Richmond residents on both sides, she said she was “torn” about whether to support the Urban One’s project or not.
Alfred Liggins, the CEO of the company that has unveiled the ONE Casino and Resort project, said in a statement that Urban One is very grateful and proud for the fact that Richmond City Council has backed the gambling and entertainment plans that would bring a first-class casino and resort to the South Side of the city. Mr. Liggins said that the project will be entirely funded with private investment and is expected to generate millions of dollars in tax revenue that would be used for community projects across the city.