RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Pamunkey Indian Tribe announced on Wednesday that their bid to build a resort and casino in Richmond was rejected by the city.

The tribe’s proposal included a 300-room hotel with a spa, fitness center, rooftop pool and food options ranging from fast-casual to fine dining. The casino itself would have had 75 table games, 2,000 slot machines and a sports book.

The project was estimated to cost $350 million and would have been built in the area south of the Bells Road I-95 exit on Commerce Road. The tribe already owns the land the casino would have been built on, as they purchased it in October 2019.

Robert Gray, Pamunkey Indian Tribe Chief, released the following statement on Wednesday:

The Pamunkey Indian Tribe was extremely disappointed to learn directly from the City of Richmond that its casino proposal would not receive any further consideration in the Richmond casino selection process. The timing of the decision, which comes before the public comment period has even concluded, seriously undermines confidence in the selection process and suggests a pre-determined outcome has been reached. The timing of this decision also suggests that public and community input will not be seriously considered in this process. Further, it appears that the City of Richmond did not afford the Pamunkey Indian Tribe the optional preference in state law that recognizes the Pamunkey Tribe’s ancestral heritage in the region. The Pamunkey Indian Tribe submitted the only 100 percent minority-owned, Virginia-based proposal. We were shocked to learn of our early dismissal from a process occurring in our native region and state, particularly in light of the fact that the Tribe was one of the first entities – if not the first – to talk to the City about gaming before commercial gaming was legalized in the Commonwealth.”

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