The Richmond city council accepted the ‘Host Community Agreement’ for Urban One’s Virginia-based One Casino + Resort, bringing the project one step closer.
With this approval, as well as the requisite approval from the Virginia Lottery, the city will petition the Circuit Court for a referendum on casino gaming in Richmond on November 2nd.
The $562 million project, which beat out other rival ideas, is set to open in October 2024 if the referendum is approved by Richmond voters.
Over the first ten years of operation, the project is expected to generate over $500 million in direct, indirect, and induced tax revenues and community benefits for Richmond.
Host Community Agreement
Mayor Levar Stoney said: “I congratulate the city council for approving a resort casino Host Community Agreement that puts Richmonders first.
“The action paves the way for city voters to have the final say at the ballot box to move this project forward in South Richmond. If approved, ONE Casino + Resort will create over 1,300 good paying jobs with benefits and generate an estimated $172m in new general fund revenue over the five years of the project.
“Richmond needs both. Great new jobs for our residents and new revenue to help fund our priorities and keep taxes low for everyone.”
The casino review panel in Richmond recommended in May that the One Casino + Resort be named the region’s preferred casino gaming operator at the proposed Walmsley Boulevard site in South Richmond.
After Bally’s Corporation’s $650 million Bally’s Richmond Casino Resort was rejected in April, Urban One was competing with the Cordish Companies’ $600 million Live! Casino & Hotel Richmond for the privilege to be the chosen participant.
This came after the field was halved in March, when Golden Nugget, Wind Creek Hospitality, and the Pamunkey Indian Tribe & Reservation were designated as those who would not be considered for the following round.
This was attributed to a lack of site control, doubts about the feasibility of financial projections, a lack of organisational experience, and/or a flaw in the proposal, among other things.