The capital city of Virginia this week got one step closer to making the country’s first Black-owned casino a reality.
Richmond recommended the ONE Casino + Resort to advance to a referendum on casino gaming during Election Day on Nov. 2, the city announced Thursday. The ONE Casino & Resort was proposed by Urban One Inc., a Black-owned business that runs media organizations across the country and is a licensed casino operator in the state of Maryland.
Urban One ventured into a partnership with Peninsula Pacific Entertainment to propose a $517 million casino resort in South Richmond.
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said he agreed with the city’s Resort Casino Evaluation Panel recommendation for ONE Casino + Resort to advance in the gaming process.
“ONE Casino + Resort presents a tremendous opportunity to develop a resort casino project in Richmond,” Stoney said in a statement. “The project will create over 1,000 good paying jobs, generate a significant amount of new revenue for the city, and establish an additional economic engine in South Richmond. I applaud the work of the Evaluation Panel in their vetting of the proposals and engaging the entire city throughout this project.”
Stoney is expected to introduce the proposed ONE Casino + Resort project to City Council on Monday. A public meeting is scheduled to follow on Tuesday.
Last year, the state of Virginia approved plans to open five casinos in majority-Black cities. Urban One was the only Black-owned entity that expressed interest in casino development.
If the ONE Casino + Resort is officially green-lit, construction will begin on a 30,000-square-foot complex that the proposal shows will include a 90,000 square feet casino, a 150-room hotel, restaurants, lounges and a 3,000-seat entertainment venue. Patrons will also have access to an open area outdoor recreational site on the complex grounds.
More information about the proposal can be found online by visiting OneCasinoResort.com.
Information on Richmond’s resort casino process can be found on the city’s website by clicking here.
“ONE is thrilled the Richmond casino selection committee has chosen the best project with the best location and best team to develop a world-class entertainment destination in Richmond’s Southside,” Urban One CEO Alfred Liggins said in a statement. “Urban One and our diverse group of local investors are fully committed to creating good paying jobs with profit-sharing for employees, pathways to successful careers, and generating significant new tax revenues that can improve Richmond’s schools and fund community programs and infrastructure.”
ONE Casino + Resort beat out a proposal from the Cordish Companies, which is owned by a family with ties to Donald Trump and conservative interests.
“It would seem ironic to me if they were able to benefit in a city with a large percentage of Democrats and blacks,” Rev. Al Sharpton told Liggins during a conversation earlier this month. “We’re seeing a lot of companies move out of doing business with those entities that are supporting voter suppression and things that are antithetical to the interests of the community.”
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