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US – Urban One to get second chance with Richmond referendum approved

By - 28 July 2023

Urban One will get another chance to convince voters that Richmond deserves the ONE Casino + Resort with Circuit Court judge signing a court order paving the way for a citywide referendum for the casino project on the November 7 ballot.

It has switched partners, with Churchill Downs buying former project partner Colonial Downs to come into the project.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said: “I am excited to see the Virginia Lottery and the Richmond Circuit Court approve the referendum for a Richmond destination-resort and entertainment venue that will provide 1,300 good-paying jobs and an estimated $30m in annual revenue to tackle our community’s greatest needs.”

“Richmond is experiencing record development and growth, and with the addition of a destination resort we will change the economic trajectory of Southside for years to come.”

Urban One and Colonial Downs were selected as the chosen operator by the Resort Casino Evaluation Panel in Richmond, in 2021 but the public narrowly voted against Urban One’s proposal in November 2021. Tha was for a US$600m, 300,000 square-foot resort with 100,000 square feet of gaming space. Richmond City Council approved an updated casino resort proposal in June.

Urban One CEO Alfred Liggins said: “We are proud of the service we continue to provide through various community and business partnerships and are talking to local leaders and citizens about the kinds of entertainment options, jobs, and community benefits they want to see included in this project. 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.”

“Churchill Downs has been proudly providing our guests extraordinary entertainment experiences for 150 years, beginning with the iconic Kentucky Derby,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs Incorporated. 

“Our company has proven success in the development and operations of premier entertainment, gaming, and racing venues that deliver tangible and meaningful benefits for our host communities. We look forward to delivering on this mission and vision in Richmond.”

The company plans to release a new design for the casino resort ‘in the coming weeks.’

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