A Richmond circuit court gave final approval to put a referendum for the ONE Casino + Resort on the November ballot, on Tuesday.
If approved by voters the casino would be built on the Southside, at the former Phillip Morris operation center at Walmsley and Commerce, with an expected opening date of October 2024. The hotel would open one year later.
The project features a multi-story upscale hotel, a concert venue, and a television production studio and it is expected to create more than 1,300 jobs. It also includes a sportsbook, 250 hotel rooms, a 3,000-seat theater, 100,000 square feet of gaming space, and 12 bars and restaurants. Urban One said it would pay a minimum wage of $15 per hour, as well as a $25 million upfront payment to the city and have a $5.7 billion economic impact over the casino’s first 10 years.
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, said: “We thank the court for its review and order to place on the November ballot a referendum on the One Resort & Casino project. This economic development project will bring 1,300 well-paying jobs and millions in much-needed revenue to our city while continuing the revitalization of South Richmond. And as we said from the beginning, the people will have the final say,” reports WWBT.
Urban One, which owns and operates 55 radio stations and the TV One cable network, has partnered with Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, owner of Colonial Downs Group and the Rosie’s Gaming Emporium franchise. It also is a minority investor in the MGM National Harbor hotel and casino in Maryland.
Richmond is the last of five Virginia cities voting on whether to allow a commercial casino, after the Virginia General Assembly voted in 2020 to allow five economically challenged cities across Virginia to have one casino per locality if approved by local voters. Bristol, Danville, Norfolk and Portsmouth all passed casino referendums last November by large margins, and their projects are expected to be finished within the next two years.