Richmond Casino Proposals Reduced to Two by City Panel

VirginiaIsForBettors.com

By Ron Fritz

The City of Richmond will consider two casino proposals after trimming one on Wednesday.

Proposals from The Coridsh Cos. and Urban One are still in the running after Bally’s Corp. was eliminated from consideration by the Virginia capital city’s Resort Casino Evaluation Panel, according to a news release.

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The proposed Bally’s Richmond Casino Resort on 61 acres at Parkway Crossings (Chippenham and Powhite parkways) is no longer being considered by the panel.

“We appreciate Bally’s interest to develop a resort casino project in Richmond,” Leonard Sledge, director of the city’s Department of Economic Development, said in the release. “The Evaluation Panel is no longer considering the Bally’s project or the Parkway Crossings site for a resort casino due to concerns about site access, environmental factors, and required approvals from non-city entities that may not be granted or extend the project timeline.

”We also appreciate the many Richmond citizens who have shared their thoughts throughout this process.”

Six proposals were submitted to the city for consideration. The number of proposals was reduced to three at the end of March.

Bally’s hosted a listening tour in Richmond last week to address concerns from residents and business owners about its $650 million proposal over.

The city also hosted public outreach meetings in person and virtually in March and in early April.

The Two Remaining Proposals

Still in the running, according to the Resort Casino Evaluation Panel:

  • Cordish Cos.: Live! Casino and Hotel Richmond (1301 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd.) would cost about $600 million and include a 300-room hotel, 4,000-capacity entertainment venue, and 18 bars and restaurants. Its gaming space would have 2,000 slot machines, 120 table games, a poker room and a sportsbook. Pro Football Hall of Famer Bruce Smith of Virginia Beach is one of the partners for the Richmond location. Cordish developed Live! sites in Maryland and Pennsylvania, and Hard Rock locations in Tampa and Hollywood, Florida.
  • Urban One: A Black-owned media conglomerate, Urban One is partnering with Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, parent company of Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums and Colonial Downs Group, and Live Nation to propose ONE Casino (2001 Walmsley Blvd.). The $517 million project would be the only Black-owned casino resort in the country. It is planned to have 150 hotel rooms, 90,000 square feet of gaming space, 12 bars and restaurants, a 3,000-seat theater and 50-plus acres of green space.

What’s Next in the Process?

The city panel is continuing its evaluation of the remaining proposals and sites. Factors in the evaluation of the proposals include: community impact and community benefits; location; direct revenue impact to the city; project feasibility and project sustainability; and economic development impact, according to the release.

The next phase of the city-led community engagement will start in May when the Evaluation Panel shares its recommended operator, location and terms of the deal. The city has concluded its first two phases of community engagement, but encourages residents to share comments on the final two proposals by emailing econdev@richmondgov.com.

After a final decision is reached, the casino will be on the ballot for voters to approve on Nov. 2. Four other Virginia cities — Bristol, Danville, Norfolk and Portsmouth — approved casinos in November 2020 after the passage of legislation by the legislature earlier that year.

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WRITTEN BY
VirginiaIsForBettors.com
Ron Fritz
Ron is assistant managing editor of VirginiaIsForBettors.com. He spent nearly 13 years at The Baltimore Sun, including 12 as sports editor. He previously was sports editor at The News Journal in Wilmington, Delaware, for nearly eight years after serving as a news editor there for four years.
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Ron is assistant managing editor of VirginiaIsForBettors.com. He spent nearly 13 years at The Baltimore Sun, including 12 as sports editor. He previously was sports editor at The News Journal in Wilmington, Delaware, for nearly eight years after serving as a news editor there for four years.
... Read More