RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond’s casino referendum drew support and opposition from those casting their ballots on Election Day, but ultimately the proposal was voted down by residents.
Now, with all but one of the physical precincts reporting its results, Richmond has rejected the ONE Casino + Resort, by a margin of just under 3%.
As of 10:39 a.m., 39,824 (51.4%) Richmond residents voted against the proposal, while 37,599 (48.6%) voted in favor of it.
Urban One CEO Alfred Liggins sent a statement to 8News on Wednesday morning expressing his “extreme disappointment” of the casino rejection by the public but admitted he accepted the decision by residents.
“For the last two years, we have worked so hard to build a large and inclusive tent with our ONE Casino + Resort project,” Liggins said. “We had a lot of loyal supporters who worked tirelessly on behalf of this project and for whom we will be eternally grateful.”
“We ran a robust campaign and strongly believe this is a huge missed opportunity for Richmond residents to have a tourist attraction that would have provided the financial resources to improve schools and roads as well as enrich the lives of its citizens,” Liggins continued. “Urban One has been a part of the fabric of Richmond for the last twenty-two years, and we will continue our tradition of serving the community.”
Mayor Stoney weighed in on the failed casino proposal on Wednesday.
“While I believe this was a $565 million opportunity lost to create well-paying jobs, expand opportunity, keep taxes low and increase revenue to meet the needs of our growing city, I am proud of the transparent and public process we went through to listen to our residents and put this opportunity before our voters,” Stoney said. “From the beginning, we said the people would decide. They have spoken, and we must respect their decision.”
Richmond was the last of five Virginia cities to vote on casino referendums and was the only one to not pass.
Bristol, Danville, Norfolk and Portsmouth all passed casino referendums last November with far less opposition.