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US – Bally’s submits proposal for $650m Virginia casino

By - 22 February 2021

Bally’s Corporation, a leading U.S. omnichannel provider of land-based gaming and interactive entertainment, has submitted a proposal to the City of Richmond to develop and operate the “Bally’s Richmond Casino Resort,” a world class, destination resort, hotel and casino. The project, which will span more than 1.6 million total square feet, will include a casino, sportsbook, hotel, resort-style pool, dining and retail outlets, and a flexible space for live entertainment and conferences.

o ensure that the project fosters significant opportunities for Richmond’s local organizations and minority-owned businesses, Bally’s has entered into strategic partnerships with multiple leaders of the greater Richmond community, including Willie Lanier, Sr. and the Lanier Family, Darrell Green, Founder of the Darrell Green Youth Foundation, and Warren Thompson, Founder, President and Chairman of the Board of Thompson Hospitality Corporation. Bally’s has also started discussions and begun forming partnerships with several small business enterprises including the Carolinas-Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council and the Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce, each of which has committed their support to the proposed project.

Bally’s has proposed construction of the Bally’s Richmond on a 61-acre parcel located North of Powhite Parkway / East of Chippenham Parkway, on the western border of Richmond, Virginia. This central location will make the Bally’s Richmond an attractive destination, providing convenient highway and transit access, as well as connectivity to downtown Richmond, which is only six miles away, and neighboring suburbs. Bally’s carefully selected this wooded site located at the city’s edge because it will provide the greatest economic benefit to Richmond without causing any disruption to nearby communities.

As detailed in the proposal, construction of the Bally’s Richmond is projected to take approximately 18 months, with an anticipated opening in 2024. Bally’s estimates that construction, which will supply Richmond with several years of contractor and sub-contractor work, will cost approximately $650 million, including a one-time, $100 million upfront payment to the City of Richmond after selection. Upon completion, Bally’s estimates that the property will attract approximately 3.7 million visitors annually, generating approximately 1,700 full-time equivalent (FTE) employment opportunities and approximately 2,000 total employees with FTE payroll. The project is also estimated to generate approximately $415 million in total gross revenue annually.

Soo Kim, Chairman of Bally’s Corporation’s Board of Directors, said, “As a former director and the largest shareholder of Richmond-headquartered Media General, I have a strong interest in the growth, development and success of this great city. I am grateful for the opportunity to present this project to the City of Richmond, which will not only generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, but, more importantly, thousands of high paying jobs. The project also demonstrates Bally’s deep commitments to supporting local communities, partnering with local businesses and promoting diversity.”

“We are honored about the prospect of partnering with the City of Richmond as it embarks upon this exciting and unique adventure,” said George Papanier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bally’s Corporation. “Our proposal represents an unprecedented project for the Richmond community that will embrace and showcase the city’s existing culture and traditions in an environment positioned towards entertainment and leisure. The Bally’s Richmond would provide the city with a vibrant new attraction that is sure to turn Richmond into a dynamic tourist destination.”

As well as a casino, curated to celebrate Richmond’s diversity, consisting of 2,500 slot machines, 90 table games, 30 poker tables, a High Limit Gaming area and VIP lounge, the project boasts a 4-star, 250-room hotel that will provide the Richmond market, including the Richmond Convention Center, with an advantage in attracting meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition (MICE) activities and . It will also offer a 45,000 square foot multi-use event space with 3,000 high-quality stadium seats.

Mr. Papanier continued: “Bally’s brings a wealth of experience to this project. We have deep roots in land-based, regional casinos, demonstrated by our national, multi-property portfolio. We are a premier omnichannel gaming company with complete online sports betting and online gaming capabilities. With a database comprised of 15 million players that offers unparalleled cross-marketing opportunities, we are uniquely-situated to successfully develop and operate the Bally’s Richmond, and ensure future economic opportunity for the City of Richmond, its local businesses and its residents.”

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