RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A “world-class resort casino” could be in Richmond’s future but whether or not one is built in the city will be left up to voters. Legislation signed into law this year allows the City of Richmond to host a casino gaming establishment following public approval of a casino referendum.
The Stoney Administration announced on Monday that they are beginning to accept qualifications and proposals for casino plans.
These plans will be subjected to a selection process that will include consulting with experts and receiving feedback from Richmond residents. The city government will then chose a preferred casino operator and location for residents to approve via referendum.
Residents will most likely be given the chance to vote to approve or reject the casino during the November 2021 election.
“This competitive selection process will allow us to find the best opportunity for Richmond, an economic development project that includes well-paying jobs and workforce training opportunities,” said Mayor Stoney. “Ultimately, the operator selected for this project must bring to the table the economic opportunity and community benefits voters will support in November.”
The city hopes for the new project to support objectives such as their mission to advance opportunities minority business enterprises and emerging small businesses. The casino must also be located somewhere that will not have any negative impacts on the surrounding community.
“This project represents a tremendous opportunity to facilitate significant economic development at the sole expense of the casino operator, which will boost the city’s entertainment and tourism industry, create jobs, and provide significant new revenues to the city,” said Director of Economic Development Leonard Sledge.
Sledge says they anticipate interest from multiple entities.
Each of the proposals will be evaluated based on the operator’s vision as well as the socioeconomic benefits that could be brought to the area. All proposals are due to the city before 3 p.m. on Feb. 22, 2021.