Richmond Might Host a New Casino After a Key Opponent Lost Their Primary Race

A state senator in Virginia recently lost his primary race after being a key opposer of Richmond's new casino. Senator Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond) lost the race a few days ago despite preventing a 2022 gaming referendum.

Former State delegate Lashrecse Aird ousted Morrissey on Tuesday in a Democratic primary after getting over 69 percent of the votes, according to the Virginia Department of Elections' unofficial results.

The senator stated that he is optimistic language will be added to Virginia's budget to deter Richmond from holding a casino vote in November. Still, he claims that it isn't appropriate for the city to have another referendum after its residents turned down the 2021 gaming proposal.

Even so, the General Assembly has put budget negotiations on hold for a while since lawmakers were concentrating on primary races. They are likely to resume the discussions soon, and Morrissey's gaming campaign will be a key element. Yet, the lawmaker believes they can add language to exclude the ballot in the 2023 budget.

More Details About the Budget

Many people are anticipating to see if the state's General Assembly will pass another budget before June 30. But, the state is in a two-year budget cycle, thus offering its lawmakers more time to approve the budget as it isn't time-bound.

Its Senate and House of Delegates disagree on key issues like the tax cuts that Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) proposed. But they need to offer bipartisan support to several proposals.

Tommy Norment (R-James City), the Senate Minority Leader, informed Virginia Mercury that the budget negotiations might resume this week. He added that the ongoing impasse was due to political considerations.

What Is Morrissey's Political Fate?

The Senator will complete his term, but his political influence at the Statehouse will reduce due to his recent loss. Still, it won't be easy for him to accomplish his goals before January.

His district includes some sections of Richmond. Yet, he prefers Petersburg getting the green light to develop a new gaming site rather than Richmond.

The Virginia Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission discovered in its study that the two cities support the gaming proposal, and it would be better if each of them had an independent casino.

The Cordish Companies is interested in building a gaming property in Petersburg, and it stated that it will drop its bid if Richmond is allowed to develop a casino. The Richmond City Council allowed another measure to be incorporated in the November vote. Urban One, a renowned media conglomerate, will lead the construction of a proposed $500 million gaming property.

This is one of the components that Richmond residents opposed in the 2021 referendum, in which they voted with a 51 percent to 49 percent margin. Urban One is Churchill Downs' newest partner after it acquired Peninsula Pacific Entertainment's assets.


A sports enthusiast, Ryan helps cover sports betting news from around the country, highlighting some of the more interesting events going on in the USA.