RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A recent filing issue by Urban One, one of the companies involved in the proposed Richmond Casino project that city voters will decide on, could cause a potential delisting from the Nasdaq stock exchange.
Urban One, partnering with Churchill Downs, hopes to bring a $562 million casino resort to Richmond’s Southside. In a Sept. 29 announcement, the media company announced it received a letter from Nasdaq stating that it was out of compliance and at risk of being delisted.
According to filing forms, the company received its first letter of noncompliance from Nasdaq on April 3. On May 10, Urban One filed a notification of late filing. Then, a few days later on May 19, Urban One received a second letter of noncompliance.
The company agreed to regain compliance by submitting the necessary financial paperwork by Sept. 27. However, that deadline was not met.
8News reached out to Urban One, and a spokesperson responded by saying:
We received a letter from Nasdaq stating that, due to our delay in filing certain securities reports, our stock may become subject to delisting. Regulatory compliance is of the utmost importance to Urban One and we are working diligently to complete the filings as soon as practicable to regain compliance with Nasdaq’s listing requirements. This event does not impact our day-to-day business. We remain in a strong financial position and updated our financial guidance for the year. Our commitment to our investors, to our millions of viewers and listeners and to our Richmond resort casino project remain unchanged.”Urban One spokesperson
Alfred Liggins, Urban One CEO, addressed concerns about the company’s financial standing at one of this week’s community informational meetings.
Thursday night’s meeting was held at the police training academy on West Graham Road.
“The issues are all around non-cash classifications of how we deal with stock options, restricted stock units and ultimately how we accounted for the referendum expenses in 21,” Liggins said.
This financial filing issue does not impact the casino referendum vote on the Nov. 7 ballot. While some Richmonders continue to share their support for the project.
“My main two reasons I’m in favor of the casino is the revenue they bring to the city and also the entertainment venue,” one Richmond resident told 8News Thursday. She went on to say, “and I think it would help curb some of that increases in a lot of taxes that we’re seeing because our younger generation, they’re going to be left paying those higher taxes.”
While others say this financial issue is a reason for concern. “They can’t be trusted to do basic bookkeeping. So how can we trust that they’re going to be able to manage a casino in such a way that it will benefit the citizens of Richmond? They’ve shown us who they are. They’re sloppy, at least, and incapable. Incompetent at worst,” Farid A. Schintzius, another Richmond resident, told 8News.
Amidst the concerns from residents, Liggins further clarified Urban One’s financial standing.
“Richmonders can trust us,” Liggins said. “The company has never been more financially sound. So, it’s just how we presented these financials that has caused a late filing, and we will get those things cleared up without auditors and we will get back into compliance with Nasdaq. We don’t expect a delisting issue.”
Urban One has requested a hearing with Nasdaq Hearings Panel which automatically stays any suspension or delisting through Oct. 20.
The company could be granted an additional extension through March by the Hearings Panel.
Early voting for the Nov. 7 state elections started on Sept. 22.