This week, the city of Richmond, Virginia, reduced the number of proposals for a proposed casino from six to three. Bally’s Corporation, the Cordish Companies, and a cooperative effort between Colonial Downs and Urban One are the other three proposals in play.
Following an announcement from the city’s Evaluation Panel on Wednesday night, the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, Golden Nugget Hotels & Casinos, and Wind Creek Hospitality were ruled out of the race.
$100 million initial charge
The $650 million Bally’s Richmond Casino Resort initiative is the city’s first casino resort project which requires a $100 million initial charge. George Papanier, the firm’s President and CEO, reacted to the shortlisting by saying: “We are excited and honoured to have been selected as a finalist and have the continued opportunity to partner with the City of Richmond, its residents and businesses on this campaign.
“The Bally’s Richmond is truly a Richmond-first project, dedicated to supporting local businesses and minority organizations by driving job creation and developing sustained economic opportunities. We are confident that our proposal will provide incomparable economic benefits to the greater Richmond community, and we look forward to continuing our dialogue to prove to the City and its various stakeholders that Bally’s is for RVA.”
Tribe expresses disappointment
The Pamunkey Indian Tribe, whose bid was rejected on Wednesday, expressed its disappointment with the decision, especially its timing.“The timing of the decision, which comes before the public comment period has even concluded, seriously undermines confidence in the selection process and suggests a pre-determined outcome has been reached. the tribe said in a statement.
It continued: “The timing of this decision also suggests that public and community input will not be seriously considered in this process. Further, it appears that the City of Richmond did not afford the Pamunkey Indian Tribe the optional preference in state law that recognises the Pamunkey Tribe’s ancestral heritage in the region.
“The Pamunkey Indian Tribe submitted the only 100 percent minority-owned, Virginia-based proposal. We were shocked to learn of our early dismissal from a process occurring in our native region and state, particularly in light of the fact that the Tribe was one of the first entities – if not the first – to talk to the City about gaming before commercial gaming was legalised in the Commonwealth.”