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US – Urban One and Colonial Downs chosen for $600m Richmond casino

By - 21 May 2021

Urban One and Colonial Downs have been selected as the chosen operator by the Resort Casino Evaluation Panel in Richmond, allowing the consortium to move forward with ONE Casino + Resort, a US$600m, 300,000 square-foot resort with 100,000 square feet of gaming space.

In a final round, Urban One and Colonial Downs beat off a competing bid from The Cordish Cos. having already seen off proposals from Pamunkey Indian Tribe, Wind Creek Hospitality, Golden Nugget Hotels & Casinos and Bally’s Corp.

Urban One CEO Alfred Liggins said: “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 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.”

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney added: “ONE Casino + Resort presents a tremendous opportunity to develop a resort casino project in Richmond. 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.”

The Evaluation Panel made its recommendation based on factors including the project’s feasibility and sustainability, proposed location, economic development impact, financial revenue impact, and community benefits.

The casino will boast 2,000 slots and 110 table games, including poker and a sports book, a 250-room hotel with the option of expanding to 600 rooms, 15 bars & restaurants, 3,000 capacity event center, 200 entertainment events annually and TV & Radio production studios.

The final decision on whether the casino will see the light of day will be given to Richmond voters on Election Day with a casino referendum on the ballot. Then, with a simple majority voting yes, Richmond would join four other Virginia cities that approved their own casino projects in 2020. Richmond could join other Virginia cities; Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, and Portsmouth in voting in favour of casino gambling.

Urban One is a Washington, DC, media company with four radio stations in Richmond. To help run the casino side of things for the proposed resort, Urban One will rely on Peninsula Pacific Entertainment. PPE owns Colonial Downs racetrack in Virginia. It also operates Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums, which are historical horse racing (HHR) parlors located throughout the commonwealth.

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