Richmond’s “ONE Casino + Resort” project needs more time: RVA Entertainment
The December 2023 opening target for Richmond’s “ONE Casino + Resort” is just unrealistic, and the gaming property project needs more time to be finished; the proposed developer told local authorities.
Seeking additional time to complete the casino project, Urban One Inc. and its fully-owned operating subsidiary RVA Entertainment Holdings LLC, told Richmond City Council that the project would take at least up to October 1, 2024 to become operational.
The proposed “ONE Casino + Resort” project will cost around $563 million to be developed along Interstate 95 (I-95) in the South Richmond area of U.S. state of Virginia. More precisely, the gaming & entertainment property would be built on a patch of land currently owned by Philip Morris. The project is yet to be approved by local voters, who are scheduled to determine the future of the project on 2nd of November this year.
The proposed casino project would feature a 250-room luxury hotel, and a casino spanning 100,000 square feet of gaming space. The casino would offer as many as 1,800 slot machines, more than 100 gaming tables, and a state-of-the-art sportsbook.
Urban One, which is a publicly-traded media conglomerate, has signed a commercial partnership deal with Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E) to develop the proposed casino resort in Richmond. P2E is seasoned casino operator with operations in Iowa and New York. It also operates the Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums in Virginia.
Under Virginia’s 2020 gaming legislation, the state is allowing economically distressed cities like Richmond to hold ballot referendums to allow local voters to determine if they want to have a casino resort to stimulate their local economy.
The cities with plans to build casinos resorts as economic stimulant are: Richmond, Bristol, Norfolk, Danville, and Portsmouth. While voters in four of these cities, viz. Bristol, Norfolk, Danville, and Portsmouth, approved the proposed casino resort projects in November last year; Richmond opted to delay its ballot referendum by a year.
If Richmond voters approve of the proposed casino resort project with a simple majority, the Virginia State Lottery would perform an in-depth review of Urban One’s finances, major shareholders, as well as the operating history of the corporation. The whole process will undoubtedly take a considerable time. In case, voters reject the proposed casino resort project, the outcome would be really devastating for Urban One, which has plans to spend more than $70 million with high expectations from the project.
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