The chase for the casino license in Richmond, Virginia has been narrowed down to two opponents, Urban One and The Cordish Companies. The plan by The Cordish Companies saw major opposition from locals due to the location of the casino project. For Urban One, the project has actually gained support and could be the number one choice for officials due to the proponents of the plan.
Public Opinion Is Important
The opinion of the public is important when it comes to the city official’s opinion in selecting the operator of the new capital city casino. Officials are currently considering which plan to use when moving ahead with a referendum in the city this November.
One reason the public opinion is so important is due to the need for a vote this fall. Richmond has yet to approve casino gaming. So, if voters do not approve of a project that is listed on the ballot, then it will not go through.
Officials in Richmond have stated that public opinion is not the only determining factor when it comes to the project, but it will be considered. Locals who live nearby the potential casino sites are hoping their voices will be heard.
Yesterday, a news conference took place in South Richmond with the Richmond Highway Neighborhood Civic Association providing its public support for the plan by Urban One. President of the Association, Charles Willis, called on the community to contact city leaders and show support for the plan.
Willis stated that the Association has seen first-hand how the casino project will make the area of Richmond stronger. It will bring good-paying jobs as well as quality economic development. Tourism and new business opportunities will be provided to South Richmond via the new operator.
More About Urban One
When the potential for a Richmond casino first came about, Urban One was an unknown name in the gambling industry. A media company based in Washington, Urban One has partnered with Peninsula Pacific Entertainment to build a casino on land that is owned by Philip Morris USA.
If chosen, the Urban One plan would mark the first time that a black-owned casino is operational in the United States. The plan is to build a $517 million casino resort with 90,000 square feet of gambling space that includes 1,800 slot games and 100 table games.
To limit any traffic issues, the project would have a wetlands area and a railroad track to act as a buffer around neighborhoods in the area. The casino property would also be home to a luxury hotel with 150 guest rooms.
While the Urban One project has gained support, The Cordish Companies has not. The company already operates several casinos with its Live! brand and would be a nice addition to the city. However, the casino resort they have planned would be located in a former movie theater and locals are not happy about it.
Many locals came out a few days ago to protest the project. While there are many in opposition, the area’s board of directors voted to not fight the project. The decision was a close one with a 10 to 9 vote.