For the past few months, several entities have been vying for the one casino license up for grabs in Richmond, Virginia. The capital city is ready to launch a gaming venue and are being very particular about who they choose. At first, the process had narrowed down operators to the final six and then the final three. Bally’s Corporation made it to the final three but has now been removed from consideration. The Resort Casino Evaluation Panel announced earlier this week that the operator is no longer on the shortlist of potential candidates.
The proposal submitted by Bally’s called for a $650 million development. The casino and resort property would have been home to table games, slots, and a sportsbook. The property also would have retail shopping options, dining, and a hotel.
The site of the proposal was a parcel of land located at Chippenham Parkway and Powhite Parkway. Near Stratford Hills, the casino project was instantly rejected by residents in the area. Those who lived nearby were not supportive and were worried that the development would cause noise and traffic as well as disturb the environment.
One individual stated that the proposed site was potentially the final resting space of community members from a very long time ago. The property has been connected to a community of freed slaves and the group reportedly buried family members there.
Bally’s tried to quell the fears of residents by showing that there would not be an increase in traffic. They also said that the company reviewed the deed to the cemetery and there was no sign that any graves were located in the same spot where the development would take place.
No Longer Considered
On Wednesday, the Resort Casino Evaluation Panel said that they would no longer be considering the project by Bally’s. Officials cited several concerns such as required approvals from non-city entities, environmental factors, and site access.
The panel was worried that certain approvals needed by entities connected to the project would not have been granted in time. If that were the case, then the casino resort would not be finished based on the timeline for the project that the city has planned.
Now, with Bally’s out of the picture, it leaves the Cordish Companies and UrbanOne as the only two remaining contenders. The Evaluation Panel will choose between these two and provide its recommendation for the developer, location, and terms of the deal between the operator and the city.
George Papanier, the CEO and President of Bally’s, was not happy with the proposal rejection. Papanier said that Bally’s felt they were the best operator to work with the city on the project. They provided the largest financial package, and it would have the best economic benefit for Richmond residents and business owners.
The CEO said that if the city were to reconsider their decision, Bally’s would be happy to reengage in the discussion process. It will certainly be interesting to see which operator the city chooses and just what will come about with the Richmond casino project.