RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)– Some Richmond residents are concerned about a casino potentially being built in the Stratford Hills neighborhood. Bally’s Richmond Casino Resort was selected as one of three finalists by the city’s evaluation panel.
After a review of six proposals, the panel selected three for further discussion. Bally’s Richmond Casino Resort is the largest project offering up a $100 million dollar payment to the city. According to Bally’s Corporation, the proposed casino would also partner with businesses through the Carolinas-Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council and the Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce. But along with profit, residents in the area are worried about the negative impacts.
Bally’s corporation proposes a casino on a 61-acre area near Powhite Parkway and Chippenham Parkway.
The company told 8News, it’s dedicated to driving job creation and developing sustained economic opportunities.
“We are excited and honored to have been selected as a finalist and have the continued opportunity to partner with the City of Richmond, its residents and businesses on this campaign. The Bally’s Richmond is truly a Richmond-first project, dedicated to supporting local businesses and minority organizations by driving job creation and developing sustained economic opportunities.George Papanier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bally’s corporation
Richmond resident Patricia Kinser believes otherwise— as she’s worried about the environmental impact.
“Richmond has this great reputation for being an outdoors city, or being a foodie city and I really don’t want to see that go backwards,” said Kinser. “I would love to see us have a positive vision for where we go as a community and I don’t think that a casino in neighborhood areas fits that vision.”
The Bally’s proposal is projected to take 18 months to build, bringing in $3.7 million visitors each year, while creating more than 2,000 full-time jobs. The estimated annual gross revenue is $15 million.
Kinser believes local business will suffer.
“Casinos are destination driven. People go there for the food, drink and entertainment so they do not go to the local businesses,” said Kinser.
Chris Crowley lives in the nearby area. According to Crowley, he believes a casino would be a traffic issue.
“I don’t know that anybody wants to see a lot of congestion going off of Forest Hill through a small neighborhood to this giant complex. That’s dumping a lot of traffic into a very small neighborhood right behind the Food Lion and the Publix right there,” said Crowley.
According to Bally’s Corporation, if selected, the company would work with engineers to ensure multiple access routes into and out of the property, directing traffic away from local major roadways.
Meanwhile, the city is hosting three separate virtual meetings next week for the public on the Bally’s proposal, the proposal from the Cordish Companies and the Urban One proposal.