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Richmond in Virginia Moves Forward with Advancing Casino Referendum

Richmond in Virginia Moves Forward with Advancing Casino Referendum

Casino Referendum Virginia 2023

Efforts to proceed with a fresh casino referendum in Richmond in Virginia, are gaining momentum, and advocates of the project are optimistic that voters will ultimately support their cause in November.

Richmond's Mayor, Levar Stoney, along with City Council leaders, initiated the formal process of including a new referendum on this year's ballot last week. In 2021, voters narrowly rejected a gambling structure proposal.
In these days, the city council's Organizational Development Standing Committee is set to convene and take the initial formal step by voting on a resolution endorsing the proposed $500 million structure located on the city's south side. The complete city council will vote on the measure a week later.

The participation of Churchill Downs, renowned as the home of the Kentucky Derby, in partnership with Urban One, a media conglomerate with a focus on the Black community, has further buoyed the confidence of proponents. In February, Churchill Downs took over the structure and resort assets from Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E), Urban One's initial project partner.

City Councilwoman Reva Trammel, another advocate for the project, plans to host a community meeting in these days. The meeting will feature Mayor Stoney, Urban One CEO Alfred Liggins, and other community representatives to discuss the project's benefits.
According to city officials, approximately 1,300 jobs are expected to be created through this project and this is an aspect of the global evolution of gaming market and casino.

Opponents may once again block the Casino Referendum

So, Richmond in Virginia moves forward with advancing casino referendum in respect of global evolution of gaming market and casino.
However, there are still hurdles to overcome, even if the council endorses the plan. These include a review by local courts, and opponents are hopeful that the state legislature may once again block the referendum, as it did last year.

State Senator Joe Morrissey, a proponent of a gambling structure in Petersburg, Virginia, located about 25 miles south of Richmond, has been trying to impede the Richmond vote.
He failed to include relevant language in this year's state budget. Morrissey remains hopeful that the legislature can reconvene before the session expires on July 1 to address this issue.

Morrissey attributed the budget delay to political considerations by state legislators ahead of the June 20 primary elections. However, he believes that the legislature will reconvene and pass a budget after the primary, prior to the July 1 deadline.
He acknowledged that the legislature is navigating through uncertain territory but expressed confidence in garnering sufficient support to prevent Richmond from holding another vote. Morrissey attributed the budget delay to broader disagreements surrounding matters like taxes.

He stated that if the legislature manages to pass a budget this month, the situation would revert back to where it stood last year.
Additionally, he expects to gain more support in next year's legislative session to pass new legislation permitting Petersburg to conduct its own referendum to host Virginia's fifth casino, rather than Richmond. While the option of onlne gambling is still to be discussed by political parties.

Despite Morrissey's persistent opposition, Richmond officials remain undeterred.
City Council President Michael Jones, emphasized that it is not uncommon for referendums to be repeated, countering critics who claim that granting Richmond another opportunity for a gaming structure vote would be unfair after 51% of voters rejected the plan in 2021.

Jones observed that in the previous vote, the majority of precincts with a higher concentration of residents from the Black community, situated south of the James River and in proximity to the proposed casino site, displayed a greater inclination to support the measure.
He expressed optimism that voters across the entire city would be more inclined to vote affirmatively this year.

Jones expressed his disappointment that the previous vote had resulted in such a stark division along racial lines. He stated that proponents of the gambling structure project would make efforts to engage with communities predominantly composed of white residents, in order to convey the reasons why the Black communities support it.


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