Richmond held a gaming referendum in 2021, but voters opposed the establishment of more casinos in the city. Em Holter from the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that Richmond City Council members voted in support of casinos in a recent ballot. Their votes indicated preliminary action.
The City Council voted to allow a second casino gaming referendum in the city which will determine whether casino operators and the city's government will reach an agreement.
Richmond agreed with Churchill Downs and Urban ONE development to host a gaming property in the southern region. The referendum's authorization is an achievement in offering Richmonders an opportunity to express their stand on casino gaming.
Will There Be Other Votes Before the Referendum?
The Virginia legislature held the first gaming vote in 2020 that kicked off the casino motion. It passed gambling expansion legislation that formed gaming licenses for five Virginia cities, including Richmond. Yet, their residents would still vote on casino gaming before operators begin venturing into the cities' gaming markets.
Richmond's 2021 referendum delayed various casino operators' dream to set up gaming sites in the city. But casino proponents have a new plan to fund the gaming project, and it is unaltered from the 2021 ballot hence offering it an advantage.
The Virginia Court and Virginia Lottery have to approve the proposed referendum's language in Richmond for this fall. Also, it will involve a potential ballot.
Will the City Council Adjust its Budget?
Some people accuse the Richmond City Council of acting fast of late.
Holter claims that amending Virginia's current budget will prevent Richmond from holding its second casino referendum. Besides, the proposal will permit Petersburg residents to hold a gaming referendum which is likely to transfer Richmond's casino permit to Petersburg.
Richmond hasn't shown interest in amending its budget in recent months, nor does it guarantee to act in the future. But, the budget will be adjusted as soon as it holds the casino referendum.
If the Virginia court and Lottery approve the referendum, state legislators will lack the mandate to block it. Richmond might not host a casino soon, even if it holds a successful referendum in November. Many casino developers anticipated the first referendum's results hoping residents would allow online gaming.
RVA Magazine reports that the casino's opponents in 2021 aren't optimistic about influencing more voters to shoot down the gaming proposal. They claim that interested parties are using their resources to lure voters to back their bid.
A margin of 1,200 votes against casino gaming decided the 2021 referendum. Thus, if 1,200 voters don't take part in the referendum, the odds will favor casino developers rather than spending resources to win their support.
Reva Trammell, a Richmond Council Member, will organize a public forum on casino gaming on Thursday evening to disclose how the next referendum might be. Still, other votes will determine if the referendum will occur.