After all the difficulties faced by the project, a Richmond casino may still be on the way.
In November, the city voters rejected plans for the One Casino and Resort project but now a new survey has started circulating among local residents. The research seeks more information on people’s vote in the referendum, whether they would change their mind on the topic and on the possibility of a casino being established in Petersburg. On the other hand, a member of the Richmond City Council, Reva Trammell, revealed that she has started collecting signatures for a petition seeking another referendum related to the proposed $565-million casino resort.
With the aforementioned survey and petition already circulating by phone and automated text messages, some political observers and casino critics have started speculating whether the supporters of the casino resort project are taking into consideration the possibility of a new motion to win the popular vote in Richmond by improving public messages.
As previously reported by CasinoGamesPro, the One Casino and Resort has been projected to generate overall tax revenue of about $500 million over the next decade, as well as 1,500 new jobs for the region. The supporters of the proposed casino project also highlighted the fact that, if successful, the casino would be the only Black-owned casino in the country. It is also expected to become one of the greatest economic development opportunities for a community consisting mostly of Black and Hispanic ethnic groups.
New Survey Trying to Find Out More about Local Voters’ Preferences and Expectations
As mentioned above, the latest survey asks Richmond residents how they made the decision to vote on the casino question, whether they were aware of some details regarding the project site and whether they received any campaign messages “for” or “against” the project before the vote took place.
The local residents’ vote was very close, with 49% in favor of the casino project to 51% against it and the measure fell short by approximately 1,500 votes. The vote was also sharply divided depending on various geographic and racial factors.
For the time being, it remains unclear who is circulating the survey, which remains untitled and there are no more details upon completion. Earlier this week, the US media conglomerate that has unveiled the Richmond casino project, Urban One, did not reject any participation in the survey but refused to answer any more questions on the matter.
The company, along with its project partner Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, invested over $2 million to popularize its casino project through a media, mail and volunteer campaign. The proposal was supported by a large number of local political leaders, legacy civil rights groups and neighborhood organizations operating in close proximity to the proposed location for the project. The One Casino & Resort was also backed by Governor Ralph Northam and Terry McAuliffe, the gubernatorial candidate of the Democratic Party.
Unfortunately for the companies, the One Casino & Resort project also faced fierce opposition mostly coordinated by Richmond for All, a progressive advocacy group, and Paul Goldman, a veteran political strategist. The campaigners raised about $200,000 to oppose the project, with local businessmen and groups contributing to the cause.