Churchill Downs and Urban One, the developers behind the Richmond Grand Resort and Casino, provided additional details about their proposed project during a community meeting with the city’s residents held yesterday evening. Locals flocked together to Richmond’s Pine Camp Arts and Community Center to gain further insights into the project that is set to appear on the ballot this November, with early voting for the referendum taking place on September 22nd. A series of additional meetings are scheduled to take place ahead of the upcoming referendum that will ultimately determine whether the project will come to pass.
During this first meeting, the investors provided further details about the annual salaries and baseline pay employees of the prospective complex can anticipate. According to the developers, the minimum hourly baseline pay would most likely fluctuate between $18 and $20. This translates into an annual salary of approximately $40,000. However, the investors are confident the average pay would be higher when one takes into account all the job positions that would be filled. William Carstanjen, Chief Executive Officer of Churchill Downs, projects an annual salary of $55,000 per position but emphasizes employees would be entitled to various additional benefits as well.
The proposed Richmond Grand Resort and Casino is anticipated to provide employment for as many as 1,300 people, according to the two developers. Forecasts suggest Virginia’s capital would collect a minimum of $30 million in annual tax revenue from the project if residents approve it later this fall.
The Meetings Aim to Boost Residents’ Confidence in the Casino Project
With these community meetings, the developers are hoping to bolster residents’ confidence in the project and give them the reassurance needed to vote in favor of the planned resort. This is something they skipped on doing before the previous referendum in 2021 when locals narrowly rejected the original project. Some residents argued at the time there were better ways to generate additional tax revenue for the city, while others voted against it because they feared the casino could lead to higher crime rates.
According to Urban One’s CEO Alfred Liggins, the investors have now decided to adopt a different approach and provide residents with as much information as possible to win them over. Liggins insisted this time around the developers wanted to give locals the opportunity to make inquiries and raise their concerns.
The meetings will provide them with further specifics related to the casino and give them a better understanding as to why the project will be beneficial for Richmond. The next community meeting on the schedule will take place on September 28th in Richmond’s First District.
Earlier in August, the City of Richmond was allowed by a Circuit Court judge to conduct another referendum on the proposed casino. A new legislation from 2019 enabled the residents of five Virginian cities to vote in referendums on whether or not to introduce casino gaming. Richmond was the only city whose residents voted against casinos in 2021.