Richmond casino project gets full approval to be on November ballot

In 2021, 51% of Richmond voters said no to the casino.
In 2021, 51% of Richmond voters said no to the casino.(Generic casino roulette wheel pic from Pixabay)
Published: Jul. 25, 2023 at 2:40 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - It’s official - a proposal to build a casino will be on the ballot once again for voters in Richmond this November.

Last week, the Virginia Lottery approved a preliminary application from the city and RVA Entertainment Holdings on the proposal, which would build a $562 million resort in south Richmond.

RVA Entertainment Holdings is a joint venture of Churchill Downs Incorporated and Urban One Inc.

On Tuesday, a court order authorized the city to place the proposal on the ballot on Nov. 7.

Last month, Richmond City Council voted to kick the casino project back into full gear.

Mayor Levar Stoney responded to the casino project’s approval:

“I am excited to see the Virginia Lottery and the Richmond Circuit Court approve the referendum for a Richmond destination resort and entertainment venue that will provide 1,300 good-paying jobs and an estimated $30 million in annual revenue to tackle our community’s greatest needs. Richmond is experiencing record development and growth, and with the addition of a destination resort we will change the economic trajectory of Southside for years to come.”

Councilors say the development is a no-brainer, creating thousands of new jobs and bringing in millions in tax revenue.

Richmond City Council voted 8 to 1 Monday evening to put the casino referendum that was killed in 2021 back on the ballot.

RVA Entertainment Holdings says a design for the resort and complex near Commerce Road will be revealed soon.

The planned project includes:

  • A luxury hotel with resort amenities (pool, spa, fitness center)
  • Live entertainment and conference venues
  • High-end dining options
  • Table games, slots, and a sportsbook
  • 55-acre park and green space

This is the second time a casino proposal will be on the ballot. In 2021, 51% of Richmond voters said no to the casino.