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Plans For Newly Proposed Richmond Casino Unveiled

Written By Katarina Vojvodic | Updated:
Richmond Casino Update

Ahead of a second referendum, residents of Richmond now have a clearer picture of what the proposed Virginia casino will look like.

Among the latest details revealed on Aug. 31 is the resort’s official name — Richmond Grand Resort & Casino. Local media reported that the casino project will be a joint venture between Urban One and Churchill Downs.

The developers emphasized the project will be different from the one residents had the chance to vote on two years ago, as the casino has now been “rebranded.”

The Virginia state budget deal announced recently would not block a vote in November. It is now up for residents to decide again whether they want a casino built on Richmond’s Southside.

Virginia Court rules in favor of the City of Richmond’s petition

Last week’s order from Circuit Court Judge William Merchant brought a little relief to people who want to see a gaming venue in Virginia’s capital.

Judge ruled in favor of the City of Richmond’s petition to hold another casino referendum in November. As announced, the Virginia’s state budget deal would also not block Richmond’s casino vote this year.

According to the lawmakers’ statement and as reported by 8News, the deal included a one-time tax rebate of $200 for individuals and $400 for joint filers. It also increases the standard deduction and reinstates Virginia’s sales tax holiday.

Virginia operates on a two-year budget plan, with the state’s current spending plan in place until June 2024.

Richmond was one of five Virginia cities in legislation passed in 2019 qualified to ask voters if they want a casino. Unlike the other four cities, Richmond residents rejected the casino project when it was on the ballot.

What would the Richmond Grand Resort & Casino bring to the city?

Backers of the new proposal for Urban One and Churchill Downs’ $562 million resort project said that the project would bring:

  • A $26.5 million immediate investment in the City of Richmond
  • Nearly 1,300 permanent jobs with an average $55,000 salary
  • An estimated $30 million in annual tax revenue and $16 million in charitable contributions spread over ten years
  • $325,000 investment in equitable transit options every year
  • $25 million in free advertising over a 10-year period
  • $50 million in TV, film and audio production

Commenting on how the rebranded casino project would benefit the local community, Alfred Liggins, III, CEO of Urban One, Inc., emphasized:

“Richmond Grand will offer something for everyone—incredible shows, exciting gaming and entertainment, outdoor recreation, luxurious spas and pools, and a huge addition of jobs and tax revenue for the city. This is a plan by Richmond, for Richmond, and when we vote yes, all of Richmond wins.”

The proposed project will also include:

  • A 250-room luxury hotel
  • Resort-style amenities such as a luxury spa, fitness center, outdoor pool and cabanas
  • A 55-acre park for concerts, pickleball, festivals, farmer’s markets and other events
  • A gaming floor with card games and table games like slot machines, poker, blackjack, craps, roulette and slot machines
  • A 3,000-seat concert venue
  • Fine dining options including restaurants, breweries and suppliers from Richmond’s food scene
  • Film and audio production facilitiesEvent space for conventions, sporting events, trade associations and faith communities

It is now up for Virginia voters to say if they want a casino in Richmond. Early voting for the Nov. 7 elections will begin on Sept. 22.

Photo by PlayUSA
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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for PlayCanada.com. Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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