RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The way forward for the Urban ONE Casino + Resort is one step nearer to being within the arms of metropolis voters. Richmond City Council voted on Monday to maneuver ahead with the on line casino course of.
The metropolis council accepted the addition of the referendum in an 8-1 vote. The handed decision, RES No. 2021-R034, reads, “To select RVA Entertainment Holdings, LLC, as the City’s preferred casino gaming operator to operate a casino gaming establishment located at 2001 Walmsley Boulevard and 4700 Trenton Avenue and to provide for the requisite referendum thereon pursuant to Va. Code § 58.1-4123.”
Katherine Jordan, who represents the town’s second district, was the one council member to vote in opposition to it, sparking frustration from Reva Trammell, who represents the eighth district the place the on line casino could be constructed.
“You told me you would support me for my people, Black and brown and white, for me to have this One Casino in my district. If you’re not as good as your word, that’s pretty bad,” Trammell mentioned after Jordan voted in opposition to shifting ahead.
Before the vote, Jordan expressed her conflicted emotions.
“I’m really torn on this vote,” she mentioned.
“My constituents overwhelmingly said not only did they not want a casino in Scott’s Addition, but they didn’t want one, period, when they reached out to me,” mentioned Jordan. “But then in our board packet today, we had over 750 emails in support of Urban One and we had seven against.”
“Tonight, we heard from, I think, 15 in favor, nine against. I checked my email. I’ve gotten 13 direct emails against the paper, that’s it. Once Cordish was out of the mix, the opposition really seemed to dry up in the second [district] so that gives me pause…,” the councilwoman mentioned.
Council members heard from a number of residents throughout public remark Monday evening.
“One Casino has a commitment to become a significant community and philanthropic partner here in the city, and I am so impressed by that,” mentioned Resident Dr. Monroe Harris.
Resident Richard Walker, nevertheless, expressed his opposition. “In reality, their major corporate greed will reap benefits and it will not trickle down to the community. I am 110 percent against it,” he mentioned.
If constructed, ONE Casino + Resort will probably be on the web site of the previous Philip Morris Operations Center in Richmond’s southside.
The metropolis and the on line casino supplier have come to settlement phrases. The vote so as to add the referendum to the poll reveals metropolis assist for these phrases, which will probably be finalized and voted on formally this summer time.
There are nonetheless some steps left between now and when voters resolve the on line casino’s destiny. The metropolis’s option to go along with Urban ONE’s on line casino plan and the previous Philip Morris location will probably be submitted to the Virginia Lottery Board for pre-certification.
Once the plan is pre-certified, and the City Council approves a full Host Community Agreement, a petition will probably be made to the Circuit Court to get the voter referendum on the poll Nov. 2.
“ONE Casino + Resort is a $562.5 million project that will create 1,300 well-paying jobs with benefits in South Richmond, and every Richmond resident will benefit from the new revenue created by the project,” mentioned Mayor Stoney. “City Council’s vote tonight paves the way for every voting Richmond resident to have their voice heard on this important project.”