Early voting underway across Richmond to determine fate of ONE Casino + Resort
Virginia Election Day is slated for 2nd of November, but early voting is already underway across the capital city of Richmond to determine the fate of ONE Casino + Resort. The ONE Casino + Resort gaming property has been proposed to be built just south of Richmond in Virginia. It must be supported by local voters during the fall 2021 general election. In the early voting, voters are being asked if they want a single commercial casino resort to be built and operated locally.
Last year, Virginia General Assembly passed a gambling expansion bill and Gov. Ralph Northam (D) signed it off allowing a few jurisdictions to build and operate a casino resort to provide a boost to their local economies. Referendum was to take place last year but Richmond leaders opted to postpone it by a year so that they could get more time to review interested casino developers’ proposals. After reviewing half a dozen proposals, city leaders eventually selected Urban One – a publicly traded media conglomerate.
Urban One presented a $565 million undertaking known as ONE Casino + Resort in partnership with Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E), a casino developer and operator with strong experience in the field of gambling and entertainment. It operates a number of gaming properties in Iowa and New York, in addition to several Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums, which feature conventional horse racing machines. In addition, it owns a minority stake in some well-established gaming properties like MGM National Harbor.
In a recent interview, Urban One CEO Alfred Liggins said, “South Richmond has been waiting for an economic development opportunity of their own. Other sections of Richmond have seen tremendous growth in recent years, but that growth has not, to date, included South Richmond.”
If Richmond voters approve the proposed ONE Casino + Resort, the property will be constructed as a 100-acre leisure complex, which would offer a 250-room hotel and a massive gaming floor spanning 100,000 square feet. The gaming floor will be equipped with nearly 1,800 slot machines and 100 gaming tables in addition to a high-tech sportsbook.
Voters in four other Virginia cities (Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, and Portsmouth) have already backed local ballot referendums, approving one gaming property for each locale. Proponents of the proposed ONE Casino + Resort project hope that the capital city will join the aforementioned cities by approving the project sooner than later.
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