RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney sent a letter to eight state lawmakers who represent the area to reiterate his opposition to any effort to block the City from holding another vote on a casino resort.

Last year, Virginia lawmakers and Gov. Glenn Youngkin approved a state budget deal that keeps Richmond from holding a second casino referendum until November 2023.

That deal made way for the city of Petersburg to pursue its own casino referendum this year after Richmond’s failed attempt.

Two lawmakers, state Sen. Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond) and Del. Kim Taylor (R-Dinwiddie), have proposed legislation for the 2023 General Assembly session that would add Petersburg to the list of eligible host cities for a casino in Virginia and prohibit Richmond from another referendum until after one is held in Petersburg.

In a Jan. 6 letter, which Stoney also sent to Sen. Morrissey, the mayor wrote there’s been misinformation surrounding his stance on the potential project and that he wants to be clear: “I adamantly oppose any legislation that constricts the rights of Richmond to have a resort casino.”

Stoney cited a Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission report that found either Richmond, Petersburg, or both, could open a profitable casino resort.

The mayor’s letter states that the study also found that a Richmond-based casino was projected to increase net gaming revenue in Virginia by 29%, compared to Petersburg’s 18%.

When the budget was approved last June, Stoney signaled that the City was weighing its legal options. But Urban One CEO Alfred Liggins said the budget language “created a conflict, a legal conflict and a huge cloud of doubt” over the City’s plans for a second referendum and that the company would pursue the project in 2023 instead of 2022.

Urban One was behind the One Casino and Resort project, which Richmond voters narrowly rejected last November. Richmond officials estimated the project would bring in $30 million in annual tax revenue.

This story is developing. Stay with 8News for updates.