Judge sides with city in casino referendum case
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A Richmond circuit court has denied an emergency order filed last week to suspend the casino referendum from being on the ballot.
On Friday, Aug. 11, Richmond Lodge No.1 of Good Lions, LLC filed a motion to intervene in the city council’s decision to have the casino referendum on the ballot until there’s further litigation.
The group claimed a right to intervene because the lodge makes most of its money off charitable gambling in south Richmond.
According to court documents, they say the city establishing a casino would negatively affect their business.
The judge ruled in favor of Richmond, letting the city have the referendum for voters this fall.
Mayor Levar Stoney responded to the court ruling in favor of Richmond in a statement:
“I am pleased to see Judge Marchant rule in favor of the City of Richmond. If approved this November, the proposed destination resort and casino will provide 1,300 good-paying jobs and an estimated $30 million in annual revenue to tackle our community’s greatest needs. On top of adding to Richmond’s record development and growth, this project will change the economic trajectory of Southside for years to come.”
Councilors say the city getting a casino will result in thousands of new jobs and bring in millions in tax revenue.
In mid-July, 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.
Then on July 25, a court order authorized the city to place the proposal on the ballot on Nov. 7.
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.
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