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Richmond mayor pitches One Casino + Resort to city council

On Tuesday, the Richmond Highway Neighborhood Civic Association publicly endorsed the Urban One...
On Tuesday, the Richmond Highway Neighborhood Civic Association publicly endorsed the Urban One casino bid, in an industrial area off Commerce Road.(City of Richmond)
Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 11:29 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond is a step closer to getting a brand new casino and resort on the Southside. Mayor Levar Stoney made his pitch to city council Monday night, recommending to move forward with the One Casino and Resort, per a city committee’s recent recommendation. He says it would bring some 1,500 jobs to the area.

Stoney told city leaders Richmond needs it.

“To provide increased funding for schools, for affordable housing, for services for our citizens and for much-needed infrastructure upgrades,” Stoney said.

City leaders are working to get city council on board.

“[It] will feature some of the best local restaurants that the city of Richmond has to offer. It will also contain a 3,000 person event center for live entertainment,” Economic Development Director Leonard Sledge said.

He says at least half of the restaurants would be Richmond-owned. Then, there’s the topic of jobs.

“1,300 great paying, direct jobs hired by the resort casino, and also it’s anticipated that 200 additional jobs will be created by the third-party companies operating businesses at the resort casino,” Sledge said.

The average pay, Sledge says, is around $55,000.

“Those people, they want those jobs. Everywhere I go, ‘please, please, we can get these jobs. Help us, Reva’,” Councilwoman Reva Trammell said.

The one downside leaders say they’ve heard about is people not wanting a casino out of fear that people might get hooked on gambling. Trammell fired back.

“Look how many people didn’t want lottery in our city and some of the ones who didn’t want it and fussed about it, I see them at 7-Eleven and the convenience store buying a lottery ticket. What’s that? A lottery ticket is still a form of gambling. It’s a form of it and if you don’t want to come, don’t come,” she said.

Virginia has a Council on Problem Gambling that works to get treatment for people who might go too far with gambling. It also works to research and prevent the problem.

There will be a virtual meeting Tuesday at 6 p.m. for the public to weigh in on the One Casino plan. You can participate, here.

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