RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A series of informational meetings for the Richmond Grand Resort and Casino have been scheduled ahead of November’s referendum. Advocates for the project claim the meetings will allow residents to be better informed ahead of the election.
The first meeting is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 18, at 6 p.m. and will be held at Pine Camp Arts and Community Center at 4901 Old Brook Road in Richmond.
Several associations have been invited to the project’s first informational meeting on Monday. Some of those invited include Ginter park, Ginter Park Terrace, Bellevue, Sherwood, Rosedale, North Central, North Barton Heights, Battery Park, Gilpin Tenant Council, Providence Park, and Hermitage Road Association.
Last month, a Richmond Circuit Court judge ruled in favor of the City of Richmond’s petition to hold another casino referendum. A short time later, business leaders involved in the project announced some of their plans for the project. The proposal will soon be in the hands of Richmond voters who will ultimately decide its fate in the election on Nov. 7.
If it is approved by voters this fall, the Richmond Grand will be a resort, casino and entertainment complex located off Interstate 95 in South Richmond.
The new casino is projected to create at least 1,300 jobs with an average salary of $55,000 and benefits. City leaders anticipate the casino bringing in around $30 million in annual tax revenue for Richmond.
The proposed project is a joint venture of Churchill Downs, Incorporated and Urban One, Incorporated. According to project advocates, the casino would use no public funds, incentives, or tax breaks.
Back in 2021, Richmond voters narrowly rejected a proposed casino. Many critics felt there were better ways to generate revenue for the city. Some residents were against the casino in the past because they were scared of it possibly bringing more crime to the area.
Richmond was among five Virginia cities that were affected by new legislation in 2019 that allowed voters to decide if they wanted casino gambling. Of the five cities, Richmond was the only one where voters rejected a casino project when it was put on the ballot.
Early voting for the November election begins this Friday, Sept. 22.