Richmond casino race: Bally’s near Forest Hill Avenue is out, two other proposals remain

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The list for Richmond’s casino proposals just got shorter.

The proposed Bally’s Richmond Casino Resort at Chippenham Parkway and Powhite Parkway is officially out of the race, according to the mayor’s office.

The city’s evaluation panel will continue evaluating the remaining proposals and sites — Live! Casino & Hotel at 1301 N. Arthur Ashe Boulevard and ONE Casino + Resort at 2001 Walmsley Boulevard.

The director of the city’s Department of Economic Development, Leonard Sledge said they are no longer considering the Bally’s project “due to concerns about site access, environmental factors, and required approvals from non-city entities that may not be granted or extend the project timeline.”

According to the city, the factors in the evaluation of casino proposals include: community impact and community benefits; location; direct revenue impact to the city; project feasibility and project sustainability; and economic development impact.

Bally’s issued the following statement in response to the news:

We are disappointed and surprised in the Evaluation Panel’s decision. We are the best operator to partner with the City on this endeavor and we provided the largest financial package with the most economic benefit to RVA residents and business owners. We were deeply committed to this project, as well as to becoming a responsible neighbor and member of the Richmond community. Should the City reconsider its decision we would be pleased to reengage.

George Papanier, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bally’s Corporation

Many Richmonders have pushed back on the proposed Bally’s project Stratford Hills neighborhood. Last week, residents had the chance to speak directly with developers during one of Bally’s Corporation’s Listening Tours.

Jeanne Walls, who has lived in the Stratford Hills area for more than 40 years, spoke her peace during the discussion.

“I hope Bally’s will go home. They don’t belong in Stratford Hills,” said Walls. “Everybody in Stratford Hills works hard for what they have. I know I have. I want to keep it a quiet and peaceful neighborhood.”

The crowd at Bally’s listening tour at Battery Park. (Photo: 8News reporter Rachel Keller)

The city’s two phases of community engagement are over but residents can continue to to share their comments on the proposed resort casino projects by emailing econdev@richmondgov.com.

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