Bally’s Corporation is one of three operators that is currently vying for the one casino license in Richmond, Virginia. Each interested company has submitted a plan for the casino, including how much will be spent, what the venue will offer, and where it will be located. Bally’s has come under fire due to its location as residents are not happy about a casino coming to their neighborhood. The company has suggested an alternate site but was shot down by city officials.
Meeting with the City
This week, residents of Richmond have been able to speak to Bally’s regarding its plans to create a casino in the capital city. On Wednesday, the discussion was on day two of a three-day span. Other meetings have been virtual, but this time around, it was a face-to-face meeting.
For the past few weeks, residents in the neighborhood of Stratford Hills have been coming out against the Bally’s proposal. Residents are concerned that traffic will increase in their neighborhood which will affect the environment, wildlife, small businesses, and alleged gravesites.
The residents say they want the neighborhood to stay quiet and peaceful. Bally’s does not think that the facility will be a hinderance. The new Bally’s Richmond Casino and Resort would be located near the Powhite and Chippenham Parkway.
During the meeting this week, Bally’s talked about the criticism and tried to put everyone’s mind at ease. The operator has the biggest plan of the three proposals and is the most aggressive when it comes to the economic contribution.
Bally’s had selected an alternate location, on Midlothian Turnpike. If the site would have been approved by officials, an additional $30 million would have gone to the city. This would be on top of the $100 million in upfront cash the company was providing.
The Mayor’s office said that alternative sites are not going to be considered. This cuts off Bally’s ability to move their project to any other location, other than the one being protested.
Continuing the Conversation
For Bally’s, they want to continue the conversation with the public. The company wants residents in the area to be on board with their project and support the effort. Bally’s will continue to refine its scope and work towards being selected as the casino provider for Richmond.
The city is encouraging citizens to share their comments on the resort casino projects. Comments can be emailed to officials and will be reviewed as part of the consideration process. Residents will continue to be able to comment on the projects, with another round of comments accepted next month.
An Evaluation Panel has been set up to discuss the proposals and recommend the one they feel will work best for the city. The panel will need to recommend an operator, location, and deal terms.
It will be interesting to see which plan is chosen and who will be the provider of casino games in Richmond. Will the location of Bally’s property hurt their chances of being chosen? Will the company be able to change the minds of the locals who remain opposed?