Churchill Downs Remains Optimistic on Virginia Despite Richmond Defeat, Betting Big

Posted on: November 8, 2023, 10:59h.

Last updated on: November 8, 2023, 10:59h.

Churchill Downs lost its bid to build a casino resort in Richmond during yesterday’s election. Richmond voters rejected the $562 million project Churchill pitched with media conglomerate Urban One by a 58-42% tally. Despite Churchill Downs and Urban One spending more than $10 million on the casino campaign, voters in the Virginia capital for a second time in three years refused the city council and Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney’s request to authorize a Las Vegas-style casino resort.

Not all is lost for Churchill, however, as the company is still moving forward with a gaming resort in Dumfries.

The Rose Progresses

Churchill Downs obtained the Richmond casino development opportunity when it last year acquired most of Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E) for $2.5 billion. Under the slogan “The Rose,” the $372 million resort will feature a luxury hotel, convention space, a theater, and a 50,000-square-foot casino with 1,100 HHR machines in Dumfries along the Interstate 95.

The terminals are parimutuel in nature and deduce outcomes based on previously run horse races. With The Rose, the HHR resort will possess a regional gaming monopoly, benefiting from the Virginia Supreme Court’s ruling that declared skill games illegal.

Regional Monopoly

With Richmond voters again rejecting a casino, The Rose will be the closest gaming facility serving Northern Virginia, which is one of the wealthiest regions in the US. It will provide many players in the region a closer, more convenient option compared to the heavily congested DC metro.


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