Richmond Grand Resort & Casino Unveils Updated Design Plans
Posted on: September 1, 2023, 02:49h.
Last updated on: September 1, 2023, 02:49h.
The developers of the proposed casino in Richmond, VA have revealed the latest design plans and project details. The newly named Richmond Grand Resort and Casino is a $562 million undertaking that will feature a luxury hotel, spa, entertainment venue, and community park. Moreover, the casino will offer a variety of gambling options including table games, poker, slots, and an on-site sportsbook.
The city of Richmond will vote on the fate of the project this November. City officials support the referendum after a prior attempt fell short in 2021. If approved, the project is expected to create 1,300 jobs and generate $30 million in revenue for Richmond, all without taxpayer subsidies.
The Richmond Grand Resort and Casino is a partnership between Urban One, Inc., a Maryland-based entertainment company, and Churchill Downs, Inc., the famous organizers of the Kentucky Derby. The developers emphasized that the project’s plans were shaped by extensive dialogue with the residents of Richmond.
“This is a plan by Richmond, for Richmond, and when we vote yes, all of Richmond wins,” said Urban One CEO Alfred Liggins, III.
The new complex will be situated in south Richmond, near a Philip Morris manufacturing facility along I-95.
Richmond is the last of five cities in the state to hold a casino referendum, following the state legislature’s approval of commercial casinos. Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Richmond each have the potential to build one casino pending voter approval.
Campaign for the Casino Referendum in Richmond
The upcoming casino referendum, referred to as Question 1, will be on the ballots of Richmond residents this fall. Unlike the previous vote in 2021, there will be no governor’s race on the ballot, which may result in lower turnout.
The Richmond city council decided in June to include the casino measure on the ballot, overcoming various legal challenges. The state budget has also confirmed that the casino vote will proceed without any restrictions.
The pro-casino campaign is being led by Tierra Ward, a Richmond resident and former local elections director for the state Democratic party.
In the previous referendum, casino supporters spent nearly $2.5 million on the campaign. Updated campaign finance reports for this year have not yet been filed.
Opposition to the Casino Project
Richmond lawyer Paul Goldman is organizing opposition to the casino through his own political committee, No Means No Casino. The committee has received funding, including a $100,000 contribution from the Ukrop family, who owned a well-known local chain of grocery stores.
Goldman recently filed a lawsuit against the state Board of Elections, claiming that he is being denied access to voter data crucial for the campaign.
The 2021 referendum failed with a narrow margin of 51-49%.