Vote on Richmond Casino Kicks Off on September 22

Is Richmond finally ready for a casino? The first time Richmond was given a chance to approve a casino, they rejected it. This was followed by several other efforts to block the city from having a second ballot vote.

Fortunately, there is nothing more blocking casino efforts in Richmond anymore. This is clear following a reveal of a sample ballot by the Richmond Office of Election.

The last ballot question showed the name of the casino. However, this new ballot question calls the casino Richmond Grand Resort and Casino.

Like the first time, the casino project is sponsored by Churchill Downs Incorporated and Urban One, which is a media company. If voters are ready to vote yes for the casino, it will complete the five casinos approved by the Virginia General Assembly in 2020.

The lawmakers approved the construction of five casinos in five cities, including Richmond, Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, and Portsmouth. The last four cities voted and approved their casinos, but Richmond rejected the bid.

With the electoral board releasing pictures of the sample ballots, voting can begin. The early voting kicks off on September 22, 2023, and will continue until November 4, three days prior to the Election Day scheduled for November 7, 2023.

The ballot question is printed in two languages, English and Spanish. The question reveals the proposed address of the casino as 2001 Walmsley Boulevard and 4700 Trenton Avenue. It asks voters whether a casino should be brought to the City of Richmond once approved by the Virginia Lottery Board.

The Path to Casino Vote Cleared

As earlier mentioned, this is not the first time Richmond is getting a chance to vote on the casino. The first ballot vote happened in November 2021, with only two percent more voting against the casino. The project was called One Casino and Resort and was organized by Urban One.

A lot followed that failed ballot, with different people trying to block another vote. For instance, an opponent filed a claim to block the vote at Richmond City Circuit Court.

Fortunately, the chief judge of the court, William R. Marchant, rejected the claim on August 23, 2023, giving Richmond an opportunity to place their votes. The Virginia budget was also expected to have a language blocking the vote. Fortunately, the bill did not have the language, and Governor Glenn Youngkin had already signed it.

A Better Proposal?

According to the founder of Urban One, Cathy Hughes, 2021 was a learning experience. Cathy was speaking during the unveiling of the casino project on August 31, 2023.

The founder explained that Urban One took a media perspective to communicate to residents in 2021. Cathy confirmed that the media company now understood politics and asked residents what they wanted to create a better casino proposal.

The 2021 proposed casino was marketed as the nation’s first black-owned casino. However, Cathy confirmed that it has changed to a high-end resort designed to serve as a vacation destination.

According to a published post by the Black Enterprise on September 11, Cathy confirmed the new casino will benefit Richmond residents. Even a commercial advert played on August 31 was Richmonder-centric.


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.