RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Richmond judge has granted the city’s request to hold a second casino referendum this November, using the same operator that was rejected last year by Richmond voters.
The Richmond City Council voted in January to pursue a second referendum to allow a casino operated by Urban ONE on Richmond’s Southside.
The push for a casino has been championed by Mayor Levar Stoney and Councilwoman Reva Trammell, but it won nearly unanimous support among the city council members, with only Councilwoman Katherine Jordan voting against the second referendum.
Now, an order from Richmond Circuit Court Judge W. Reilly Marchant has finalized the question, ordering that it appear on Richmond voters’ ballots in November. The text of the referendum as it will appear on voters’ ballots is included below:
The move is also opposed by State Senator Joe Morrissey (D – Petersburg), who has pushed for a budget amendment that would study the viability of a casino in the City of Petersburg and prevent Richmond from holding another referendum until November 2023.
His budget amendment will likely be considered during the upcoming special session to finalize the state budget.
Councilwoman Trammell has argued that although the new proposal features the exact same operator and development plan, the addition of a property tax cut to this year’s proposal makes it different enough to warrant another vote.