Richmond Chooses Urban One’s Casino Project Set for Referendum Approval on November 2

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Richmond leaders have picked Urban One to develop a casino in the city. This comes after months of evaluating several proposals from different prospects. However, the final decision is in the voters’ hands.

They will have to vote to allow the development of the new casino during a referendum on November 2, 2021. Mayor Levar Stoney will present the casino development proposal to the City Council on May 24, 2021.

The City Council will work with Urban One to build a casino near Commerce Road and Walmsley Boulevard. The new casino will be on the property currently owned by Philip Morris USA.

The city’s mayor said the project would generate massive revenue. He added that it would provide 1000 good-paying jobs. Richmond’s officials choose Urban One for several reasons.

For starters, they loved the brand’s project sustainability and feasibility. Other factors included include location, community benefits, financial and economic impacts.

More About the Casino Project

Urban One is a company running media channels across the USA. It has several radio stations in the Richmond area. It is uniting with Peninsula Pacific Entertainment to run the upcoming $600 million casinos.

Peninsula Pacific Entertainment also owns Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums and Colonial Downs Racetrack. Urban One plans to create over $525 million in tax revenue for the city alongside many other benefits over the next ten years. The brand promises at least a $15 wage for its employees. Thus, they will make an average of $55,000 every year.

According to Urban One’s Alfred Liggins, his company and investors are motivated to create good-paying jobs. He added that there would be profit-sharing with employees. Alfred said that the revenue tax generated by the upcoming casino would finance school and community programs and infrastructure.

However, Urban One and its partner will finance the project alone, as the city official does not intend to chip in. If the voters approve, the brand will become the first black owner of a casino since the late Don Barden. Don was the first African American to operate a casino in Las Vegas.

According to the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus chairman Lamont Bagby, it is time for blacks to join the gambling industry. Bagby confirmed that he did not know the details of the corporation between Urban One and Peninsula Pacific. But he was sure whatever he had heard showed the partnership would bring forth the first black-owned casino in Virginia.

Where It All Started

Earlier last year, the Virginia General Assembly adopted a law allowing gambling expansion. Governor Northam signed it, authorizing several cities to host one casino each. These cities include Portsmouth, Richmond, Danville, Bristol, and Norfolk.

But, voters have to allow the expansion of gambling in these cities through a public referendum. Essentially, a city has to choose its preferred resort casino operator and location before asking the court to order a referendum.
Richmond has completed two steps and is waiting until November for voters to permit or reject the proposed casino. Richmond and Danville have been the two cities with the toughest competitive bidding on who to partner with to build a casino. Other cities had already approved casino plans during a referendum last fall.


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