Richmond casino concerns meeting set for Thursday night

Updated: Feb. 19, 2020 at 1:53 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Many neighbors in Richmond’s Manchester area are raising red flags over a proposed casino.

The Pamunkey Tribe wants to build a $350 million gambling resort off Ingram Avenue and Commerce Road.

The project would include a 275 room hotel tower along with dining options and gambling.

But now concerns about transparency and other issues are coming up.

“There are concerns about crime. There’s concerns about addiction. There’s just general concerns about gambling,” said Richmond City Councilor Ellen Robertson.

Aside from crime, a casino could mean more tourism and money.

“We are watching it. We don’t have a formal position on whether we support or don’t support it. We do believe they should be very thoughtful,” said ChamberRVA’s Brian Anderson.

Robertson is hosting a meeting in the 6th district, where the impending development is located. The councilor says the project currently has more opposition than support.

“The challenge is that the community really feels they’ve been disenfranchised, they’ve not been honored and respected by coming to them and sharing with them what is being planned,” said Robertson.

Virginia’s General Assembly is moving ahead on legislation to pave the way for casinos in Virginia and for the tribe to explore options in the City of Richmond. But no casino can happen without city council support.

“It’s very important that the community have an opportunity to speak first and that they react to the proposed development,” said Robertson.

The meeting gets underway Thursday, February 20, 2020. It runs from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Bellemeade Community Center on Lynhaven Avenue.

According to a media representative for the Pamunkey Tribe says Chief Robert Gray will be at the meeting in Ellen Robertson’s district Thursday night and has been invited to say a few words.

A statement added, “The meeting is an opportunity for the community to learn more about the Pamunkey Tribe and for the Tribe to hear from the community. We are early in this collaborative process and look forward to working with the community to help make this a great project that can provide significant benefits to Richmond.”

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