‘Would be great for the city’: Richmonders welcome casino proposals

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — With four bids on the table for a casino to be built in Richmond, residents, who will likely vote on it in November, are enthusiastic about the idea.

“I think taxes on it would be great for the city. Would definitely help us fund the schools, things of that nature,” said Resident Ash Tabrizi.

Joe Shaver, who lives just outside of the city, agreed it would bring dollars to Richmond.

“You got the MGM up in D.C. and a lot of folks in Richmond go to that casino, so if they’re gonna spend the money, sure would be nice to keep it here in town,” he said.

Beyond the revenue, community members 8News talked to Tuesday said it would bring people into RVA, too.

“You look at other cities, it’s a big pull. We got a big tourism industry anyways,” Shaver said.

“I feel like some people would also move here just for the fact that they have something else to do besides go out to Scott’s Addition and drink, they have something to do while they’re drinking.” Tabrizi added.

For Shaver, a Richmond casino is somehwere he could see himself spending time.

“I like to bet on sports, so I think having more sports books where you can actually go and bet and watch all the games at once, I think that would be something that would be interesting for me,” he explained.

Tabrizi agreed, saying newly legalized sports betting in Virginia is popular. “A lot of my friends are doing it,” the VCU student said.

At least two of the four casino proposals include a sports book in their plans.

Shaver believes the benefits of a casino would outweigh any risks. “The gambling addiction side, there are some things that you have to be conscious of, but I think there’s enough resources to kind of help combat that,” Shaver said.

Now that all four casino proposals have been submitted, the city will choose one proposal by this summer. City officials told 8News there will be public comment opportunities.

In November, Richmond residents will likely vote on the casino via a referendum on the ballot.

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