Richmond one step closer to opening Virginia’s fifth casino

Still more steps to take before voters can decide on the issue in November

Rendering of what Richmond's casino and hotel will look like. (Urban One)

RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond City Council has voted to hold a referendum on building a casino.

News outlets report that the council voted 8-1 on Monday to approve the addition of the November referendum on whether to permit the casino to be built. Councilwoman Katherine Jordan, who represents the city’s 2nd District, was the only council member to vote against holding the referendum.

The council concurred with Mayor Levar Stoney’s recommendation to partner with Washington media conglomerate Urban One on its $560 million casino proposal. If local voters approve the measure, a casino with a 250-room luxury resort hotel would be allowed along Interstate 95 on property currently owned by Philip Morris USA.

Supporters say the casino resort would bring the city more than 1,000 jobs and approximately $30 million in annual tax revenue.

The city is pursuing the project under a new state law that allows Richmond to permit a casino if voters approve it.

A petition will be made to the circuit court to put the voter referendum on the ballot Nov. 2 after the plan is pre-certified and the council approves a host community agreement.

In November 2020, voters in Bristol, Danville, Norfolk and Portsmouth all approved the casino referendums on their ballot, paving the way for those cities to open Virginia’s first four casinos.