RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The operators of three casino proposals still in the running for a license in Richmond are presenting to community members in separate virtual meetings this week.
On Tuesday, the Cordish Companies, based in Maryland, proposed its plan for the Live! Casino & Resort Richmond. To view a recording of the meeting, click here.
The proposed casino would be built in Scott’s Addition at Arthur Ashe Blvd and W. Leigh Street near the Diamond. The company said the project “contemplates” demolishing the existing Movieland Cinemas structure.
In Tuesday’s virtual meeting, citizens asked dozens of questions. One concern that was brought up was Scott’s Addition’s ability to handle the traffic and parking brought in by a casino.
Rob Norton, president of Cordish Gaming Group does not believe that would not be an issue. “The folks going to a casino for enjoyment, they’re trickling in at different times and leaving at different times so there’s never that spike that you’re used to seeing if you’re going to a Squirrels game or something like that,” he said.
The casino also plans to build 4,000 free parking spaces, which the company said will help with the overall parking situation in Scott’s Addition.
On Wednesday, media company Urban One, Peninsula Pacific Entertainment and Live Nation presented their plan for the One Casino + Resort in another virtual community meeting. To view a recording of the meeting, click here.
That casino would be located in an industrial area off of I-95. Urban One CEO Alfred Liggins said the proposal would have the least traffic impact of all three, adding that Exit 69 of the interstate would lead directly to the casino’s entryway.
Liggins emphasized the proposed location, which includes 55 acres of green space and wetlands.
During the meeting, one resident asked about nearby neighborhoods in the city’s eighth voter district. Liggins responded by saying that compared to the other proposals, “We’ve got the largest buffers between us and any respective home.”
Another concern that came up was the possibility of crime. Aaron Gromes with Peninsula Pacific Entertainment said in their experience, casinos deter crime.
“We have thousands of surveillance cameras that cover almost all of the public spaces inside and outside the property and the results are positive in the communities we operate in,” Grome said.
On Thursday at 6 p.m., Bally’s Corporation will present its plan for the Bally’s Casino Resort in the final of three community meetings. To participate via Microsoft Teams, click here.
That proposal includes 2,500 slot machines and a 250-room hotel on the site at Powhite Parkway and Chippenham Parkway.
Opponents of the Bally’s Casino Resort are worried about negative effects on wildlife and traffic in the area. Bally’s says waterways and wetlands will be incorporated into their plan and that Forest Hill Avenue won’t be used for casino access.
The city’s Department of Economic Development said the casino review committee, made up of nine members including two city council members, will recommend one of the casino proposals in May. That recommendation will head to Richmond City Council.
If approved by council, Richmond residents will be able to vote “yes” or “no” to the proposal on the ballot on Nov. 2.