Richmond Asks Community for Casino Feedback
Richmond city officials held the second of two virtual community meetings about the development of a casino in the city Wednesday.
Last year the General Assembly passed a bill allowing casino gambling, giving five cities the option to vote for a casino proposal. Voters in Norfolk, Portsmouth, Danville, and Bristol all approved casino projects in referendums. The Virginia Lottery will regulate the new casinos, which have gambling activities legally different from existing institutions like Rosies.
Richmond is on a later timeline, with a referendum slated for this November.
Six proposals and different sites are before the city.
A New Orleans-based consultant group, Convergence Strategy Group, estimated new tax revenue from the casino could be $30 million a year, based off estimates of gaming taxes and other taxes. They estimated gaming revenues could be between $270 million and $285 million, and estimates regarding
Questions at the forum revolved around social cost and safety concerns.
“If the goal is to fund public services what are the downsides on public services that this project will create?” asked Quinton Robbins, with the advocacy group Richmond For All.
“We are mindful of issues and concerns that individuals have,” said Leonard Sledge, the Director of Richmond’s Department of Economic Development. “As a part of the conversation and dialogue that we're having broadly, it's so we can hear the issues and concerns, but also discuss ways that we mitigate the impacts of those.”
An evaluation committee will consider public input as members decide which proposal to recommend to the city council. Summaries of the proposals are available on the City of Richmond’s Casino page.
In May or June the council will choose a proposal to put before voters in November.