Richmond Crusade for Voters opposes the relocation of its casino opportunity. The nonprofit organization strives to increase the voting strength and political influence of the Black community in the city.
The Virginia capital's residents voted against a proposed $600 million casino. Even so, the Crusade for Voters and the City Council are determined to reserve Richmond's casino opportunity. The organization was formed in 1956, and it responded to the state's referendum about public education in which Blacks got outvoted 4-1.
The education ballot intended to restrict local governments and public schools from blocking integration. Statistics state that less than 50 percent of the City's Black voters participated in the January 1956 ballot.
It has consistently advocated for Blacks to unite and increase their influence in the state's affairs. The Crusade for Voters says that the city's casino opportunity will largely affect the Black community, and state legislation authorized the issue in 2020.
Richmond residents opposed the One Casino + Resort proposal in November 2021. The dominant white community in northern James River opposed the casino proposal, which would be developed near Interstate 95 next to the Philip Morris headquarters. Also, it is in downtown Richmond.
The Proposed Casino's History
City officials were instructed to present various casino resort proposals that different developers made after the state's legislature allowed Richmond to host a casino. Richmond's Casino Evaluation Panel had six bids. The Cordish Companies, Urban One, Pamunkey Indian Tribe, Wind Creek Hospitality, Golden Nugget, and Bally's Corporation had tenders.
Richmond chose Urban One, a media conglomerate that concentrates on Blacks. It had teamed up with Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E) to create the One Casino + Resort proposal. P2E has vast experience in running gaming venues.
The One Casino bid featured 50 investors who included minorities. Urban One's officials stated in 2021 that many investors make up One who intend to offer the minority community more representation and ownership opportunities in Richmond.
Campaigns to relocate Richmond's casino opportunity to Petersburg kicked off after the 2021 gaming referendum. Yet, the Richmond City Council is planning to hold another gaming ballot in November.
Richmond's Casino Opportunity Gets More Support
The City Council is optimistic that informing residents about how Urban One's gaming site will benefit them will convince Blacks to support the casino opportunity. Richmond Crusade for Voters' leaders claims that leaders who oppose another referendum and want to deny the city its casino privilege will deny Blacks a huge economic opportunity.
Senator Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond, Petersburg) added a provision in the 2021 budget sessions which prevented the city from holding another gaming ballot before November 2023. He believes that a Petersburg casino will benefit the entire state.
Marty Jewell, Richmond Crusade for Voters' 1st Vice President, informed Richmond Times-Dispatch that they will protect the casino opportunity. He previously served as a city councilor.