The elections held back in November 2021 brought bad news for gamblers in Richmond, Virginia. The city residents voted down the casino proposal that was supposed to be developed by the media company Urban ONE. However, it now seems that the project that failed last year may get a second chance.In the past, we told you how the public wants to know where the money will be spent if referendum passes. Virginia Governor, Ralph Northam may have showed some support.
Reva Trammel, the Richmond City Councilwoman, announced plans to reintroduce the resolution that would lead to one more casino referendum. The resolution which is scheduled for Monday would once again include the team that was behind the failed Urban ONE proposal. The initial proposal which didn’t pass the referendum last year involved plans for developing a casino complex in the southside area of Richmond, next to the Phillip Morris manufacturing campus.
After Reva Trammel officially introduces the resolution on Monday, the next step is to have a public hearing on the proposal. Furthermore, there is no voting at the City Council meeting.
Per plans, the casino should be developed in councilwoman Trammel’s district which explains her support of the project. She said that her goal is to get the ball rolling again and secure enough signatures to put the proposal for another referendum after the initial failure. Trammel is the representative of Richmond’s 8th District which voted positively on the proposal during the November elections.
The approval of Trammel’s resolution by the Richmond City Council will mean that the city will once again enter the host community agreement with RVA Entertainment Holdings, LLC. As a part of the initial proposal, the city entered a similar agreement in July last year. At the moment, there’s not enough information on the intentions of Urban ONE and it’s still unclear whether they’ll be a part of the new project. Reportedly, after the November referendum failed in Richmond.
The proposal has also faced some opponents. Senator Joey Morrisey has announced that he plans to try to block any referendum on the issue in the next five years. He already has a bill drafted, claiming that the state legislators have to respect the democratic vote. However, there are some reports that Senator Morrisey supports the option that will see the casino developed in Petersburg.
At the same time, plenty of local activists engaged in the campaign to stop the casino in VA project. They claimed that the promised economic and financial benefits were not realistic. Also, they believed that potential casinos in the area will significantly increase the gambling addiction issues. After an extensive campaign from both sides, the voter eventually decided against the proposal, with 51% of them voting NO on the referendum.
The Richmond referendum was the last one of five held to decide on casino development in five Virginia cities. The residents of the other four cities, Virginia Beach, Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, and Portsmouth, have all voted to approve casino projects.