Urban One Casino Referendum Again on Ballot in Virginia

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Urban One Casino Referendum Again on Ballot in Virginia
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Urban One announced Thursday that it will pursue running a referendum campaign to have the One Resort & Casino project "in the 2023 election cycle as provided by the current Virginia budget language."

The process of launching One Resort & Casino dates back to 2021, when Richmond chose it as "the preferred gaming operator" after reviewing six other proposals.

Then, in November 2021, the $565 million project was ultimately rejected by Richmond voters in a referendum, with 51% against it and 48.6% in favor of it. 

Getting on the Ballot Again

After this rejection, Rev. Al Sharpton, founder & president of National Action Network, came out to endorse the project stating, "As you are reading, there are absolutely no Black-built and Black-owned gaming resort enterprises in this entire country. But the time is right for Richmond, Va., to change the future of an entire industry that has historically regarded us merely as customers."

The Richmond City Council ultimately approved the project for a second referendum. 

Urban One states that this is "set to bring thousands of well-paying jobs and millions in much-needed tax revenue for schools, first responders, roads, and infrastructure" in the city. 

The casino will "showcase the very best of Richmond" by featuring "Richmond-based restaurants, local art, production studios, and 50 acres of green space for all to enjoy."

The city took the necessary steps of applying and receiving a court order to allow the project to proceed during the 2022 election. However, the recent Virginia state budget sought to delay it until 2023.

"We were disappointed with the introduction of the budget language, especially after both the House and Senate bills containing similar language were defeated in the General Assembly," Alfred Liggins, CEO of Urban One, said in a statement. 

"Despite strong legal arguments to support moving forward in 2022, we have asked our partner, the City of Richmond, to withdraw their petition for a November 2022 ballot referendum because we feel a long protracted legal dispute at this time does not best serve the citizens of Richmond or the State of Virginia. We are now focused on winning the Richmond casino referendum in 2023."

More on Urban One

Urban One has been part of the community for 20 years with its radio stations:

  • iPower 92.1
  • Kiss 99.3/105.7
  • The Box 99.5/102.7
  • Praise 104.7

The plan is for One Resort & Casino will be located in South Richmond right off I-95 at the Bell's Road exit. 

"There is no doubt that Richmond is by far the best location for a project like this, with its central location, vibrancy and existing infrastructure," said Cathy Hughes', Founder and Chairperson of Urban One. "I'm grateful for the outpouring of broad support that we have received from Richmond and look forward to getting back on the air to continue the dialogue about our shared vision for One Resort + Casino."

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Richard Janvrin

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