Richmond Officials Continue Casino Process with Urban One

Earlier this month, Richmond, Virginia officials decided to choose Urban One as the winner of the only casino gaming license in the capital. The media group is teaming up with Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E) to create the new development. Currently, officials are continuing the process of preparing the project details before the plan goes up for vote in November. The Resort Casino Host Community Agreement was recently released, providing the public with more details on the potential project.

Finalizing Details

For the city, the next few weeks and months will be used to finalize the details regarding the project with Urban One. The City Council has been working on the fine print of the deal, trying to ensure that the project will be approved by voters and be able to start quickly.

Officials have already provided an incentive for the company to work quickly on the construction of the property if voters give the go-ahead. In the Resort Casino Host Community Agreement, the city has decided to reduce the tax on gross gaming revenue that is generated by the casino within the first year.

The only way this reduction will take place is if the property is up and running by December 31, 2023. The ONE Casino + Resort must be offering services by the deadline to receive a 1.875% tax instead of the already agreed upon 3%.

Urban One has plans to build the new casino on land owned by Philip Morris. The property will be located on I-95, which will be a prime spot to attract regional guests as well as tourists. The company originally planned to invest $517 million in the project. However now, the full investment will be just over $562 million. This includes an upfront payment to the city set at $25 million.

Details of the Project

So, what will the Urban One casino look like? What will it offer? For starters, the full complex must be one million square feet in size or larger. The casino floor has to 85,500 square feet minimum. Players will find slot games, table games, and a high-limit area in the casino. There will also be a sportsbook and poker room on-site.

The property will also include a hotel, which needs to have a tower that is 12 stories tall. A minimum of 250 hotel rooms is required. The property should also include a theater and a conference space. For dining, the large project will include 15 restaurants and bars. At least half of these venues need to be operated by local vendors.

For Urban One, they must also help the local community as part of earning the exclusive casino license. The company has to donate $16 million to local nonprofits within a 10-year time frame. Richmond Public Schools will receive $30,000 annually for five years.

To help with any problem gambling issues, the company will contribute $200,000 each year to mitigation efforts.

While all the work is being put into getting the project ready for construction and opening, the voters in the state must approve the project first, or all the planning will be for naught.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.