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Richmond Chooses Casino Proposal

Jahd Khalil

In the latest development in an expansion of gambling in Virginia, an advisory panel said it had chosen ONE Casino + Resort on Thursday as the proposed operator for a casino for Richmond. Mayor Levar Stoney presented the proposal to the city council Monday.

Richmond is the only city that hasn’t voted on a Casino proposal yet after the General Assembly permitted five to build them last year. Voters in Bristol, Danville, Norfolk and Portsmouth all approved casinos in referenda last fall.

Urban One’s proposal beat out five others.

“What we have here is an opportunity to continue the city's recovery and foster equitable economic growth that provides opportunities for economic mobility, for Richmonders and more commercial general fund revenue,” Stoney said.

The proposed resort would be on the Southside of Richmond. Urban One is a multimedia company catering to Black audiences and this would be its first casino. The company says it would be the first Black-owned casino in the US.

Many residents who spoke during the selection process didn’t oppose the concept of a Richmond casino but did oppose one in their neighborhood.

If approved by the city council, voters would have to approve the proposal in a November referendum.

Opponents of the proposal say that the Casino would take money primarily from poor Richmonders and give it to a private company and distribute it in tax dollars.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

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