RICHMOND, Virginia (WRIC) – Richmond residents have less than a month to decide whether to have a casino in their city. The residents will vote “yes” or “no” on November 2nd for the development of the ONE Casino + Resort in the south of the city.
If the Las Vegas-style casino is approved, the city will be given an upfront $ 25.5 million. 8News has learned that the money is currently on an account until the votes are confirmed. Once the investor finishes financing, the city will receive an additional $ 1 million.
From August to September, the townspeople were able to take part in an online survey. The results were released on Tuesday and showed that most people want to see the $ 25.5 million pouring into the Southside community.
There is some resistance, however. Senator Tim Kaine opted to vote early and voted “no” to bring a casino to Richmond.
In a statement to 8News, Kaine’s office wrote, “Senator Kaine voted on Monday, September 20th. He voted against the casino proposal. He believes there are better ways to improve economic development in Richmond. “
Urban One’s presence is in Richmond, while Richmond will decide whether Urban One’s project will be built in the 8th district. Residents are surrounded by advertisements that are posted on billboards and broadcast on radio and television.
CEO Alfred Liggins has attended numerous community events to talk to residents, such as the 2nd Street Festival last weekend.
The black-owned media company has knocked out its competitors and has received support from neighborhood associations, business owners and Southside councilors like Reva Trammell and Mike Jones.
“Now is the time to raise the south side and really make this one town with this one project,” Jones told 8News earlier this year.
The Mayor of Richmond, Levar Stoney, also vocalized ONE Casino + Resort.
“To provide more funding for schools for affordable housing and much-needed infrastructure upgrades,” Stoney said of Zoom.
Many city residents echo Mayor Stoney’s message in an online poll presented Tuesday afternoon by Maritza Pechin, deputy director of Equitable Development.
The poll found 19 million of the city’s $ 25.5 million will go to the 8th and 9th districts. Local residents decided that school improvements were their top priority, followed by road and pedestrian safety and the beautification of the city.
The results show that the highest rated school project is the Reid Elementary School Community Center and Playground, the top pedestrian project is Hull Street on Belt Boulevard, and the top street project is the intersection of Belt Boulevard and Broad Rock Boulevard.
Outside of Caine’s opposition there may be others. Richmond For All, an advocacy group, is against the casino project. You reported in July that volunteers combed the 8th district and knocked on 175 doors. The organization reported that 45% of residents rejected the project, another 25% undecided. The group has more customer promotion events planned for this month.
Casino projects in four other cities in Virginia are already ahead of the game after winning large majorities in their referendums last fall. However, Richmond is proving to be a unique casino race. The vote could be tighter than some expect, but in the end, the city dwellers will have the final say.
If the casino is approved on November 2nd, Mayor Stoney will use the information gathered from the online survey to submit a budget to the Richmond City Council. Council members will then vote to approve or amend the mayor’s proposal.