Urban One puts of Richmond casino referendum campaign to 2023

A second referendum had been expected this year.
A second referendum had been expected this year.

Residents in Richmond voted the casino project down in 2021 but Urban One had hoped to try again this year.

US.- Urban One has announced that it will pursue a referendum for its $565m One Resort + Casino proposal for Richmond, Virginia, in the 2023 election cycle. It had initially hoped to try again this year after residents narrowly voted the project down in November 2021.

The City Council had applied for and received a court order to allow a second referendum to move forward at the 2022 election; however, the recently passed Virginia state budget contained language to delay the referendum to 2023. 

Alfred Liggins, CEO of Urban One, said: “We were disappointed with the introduction of the budget language, especially after both the House and Senate bills containing similar language were defeated in the General Assembly.

“Despite strong legal arguments to support moving forward in 2022, we have asked our partner, the City of Richmond, to withdraw their petition for a November 2022 ballot referendum because we feel a long protracted legal dispute at this time does not best serve the citizens of Richmond or the State of Virginia. We are now focused on winning the Richmond casino referendum in 2023.”

Urban One’s plan was to construct a 90,000 square foot gaming floor with 2,000 slot machines, over 100 gaming tables, a competition poker room, and a sportsbook. In addition to gaming, the hotel would have offered 250 4-Star, AAA 4-Diamond luxury rooms, with the capacity to expand to 600 rooms.

Cathy Hughes, founder and chairperson of Urban One, said: “There is no doubt that Richmond is by far the best location for a project like this, with its central location, vibrancy and existing infrastructure.

“I’m grateful for the outpouring of broad support that we have received from Richmond and look forward to getting back on the air to continue the dialogue about our shared vision for One Resort + Casino.”

Richmond’s hotel and casino workers union, Unite Here Local 25, has questioned the reality of the 1,500 jobs that it’s been claimed the proposed One Casino and Resort in Richmond would create. They believe any jobs created would be low-quality, base-paying positions with poor benefits and little sustainability.

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