A nonprofit charitable gaming facility is trying to prevent a Virginia casino from coming to Richmond.
Richmond Lodge No. 1 of the Good Lions, Inc., has filed a motion asking a judge to reverse a court’s decision allowing for a citywide referendum on the Nov. 7 ballot.
In 2021, voters rejected Richmond’s first casino pitch. However, in July, a Richmond Circuit Court judge signed an order to allow city officials to add the casino question to the November ballot.
Richmond’s charitable gaming doesn’t want a casino
According to a post by ABC News 8, with the motion, the Good Lions anticipate charitable income will disappear if a casino comes to Richmond.
“Presently, the only casino gaming permitted in Richmond is charitable gaming, and this sole right has helped Good Lions and similar nonprofit organizations use the proceeds from gaming to improve the community.
This charitable income will either disappear entirely or be seriously undermined should the referendum move forward and be successful.”
According to 8News, the nonprofit claim the city council violated the state constitution by not allowing a public bidding process for the casino.
“By any interpretation, the actions of the City Council are inconsistent with the Constitution’s explicit requirement that a fair and honest, open, and accountable bid process be held to establish a franchise like the one at issue,” the motion reads.
Pushing for a Virginia casino in Richmond
In July, the city council approved an updated proposal for a collaboration between Urban One and Churchill Downs should voters approve.
The proposed location is near Commerce Road on the south side of Richmond. Besides gaming, development plans for this Virginia casino call for:
- 1,300 new jobs
- A luxury hotel
- Entertainment venues
- A casino
- A Virginia sportsbook
- A 55-acre park
State Sen. Chap Petersen, whose law firm is representing the Good Lions, said a judge would first have to determine if the Good Lions’ motion has weight. After that, there is a possibility the referendum ballot could be blocked.
Early voting for the Nov. 7 state elections begins Sept. 22 and runs through Nov. 5.