The casino would create about 1,300 jobs in Richmond, Virginia, and it could spur ancillary development. In addition to gaming, the project would include a radio and television production studio, and a goal of 40% participation from small and minority businesses. While the project has won the support of many Richmond politicians, some fear an extension will be a sign of problems. Here are some reasons why the casino project may face opposition. These arguments may sound extreme to some, but they’re entirely reasonable.
Urban One is the nation’s only black-owned casino
The owner of one of the nation’s largest casinos is African American, Alfred C. Liggins. Liggins, CEO of Silver Spring-based Urban One, is planning to build a casino and resort in Richmond, Virginia. It will feature a 250-room hotel, live entertainment, 1,800 slot machines, and 100 table games. The property will be on Interstate 95, in a predominantly Black area. A referendum on whether to allow the casino will take place in November.
After working with MGM National Harbor to develop a proposal for a $517 million casino in Richmond, Virginia, Urban One saw a unique opportunity to engage the community and bring jobs to the area. The company already has a presence in Maryland, with the MGM National Harbor, and is hoping to bring nearly 5,000 jobs to the southside of Richmond. Although it doesn’t have any casino management experience, Urban One has established a strong brand in the city, where it’s planned to build the casino.
It would have a luxury hotel and a 3,000-seat theater
The company behind Casino 1 in Richmond, Virginia, is proposing a new casino and resort. The company announced the plans in February and was one of six original bidders on the economic development project. Its plans would include a luxury hotel with 150 guest rooms, a 3,000-seat theater, a television production studio, and restaurants. However, no specific date or location has been set for the opening of the new casino.
It would create 1,300 jobs
Urban ONE’s plans to build Casino 1 in Richmond have received support from a number of local leaders. In October, the Black Opportunity Council gave Stoney $20,000 for his re-election campaign. Greg Cummings, one of 50 investors in the project, and others connected to the casino project have also contributed to Stoney’s campaign. One of those connected to the casino project is the local developer, Peninsula Pacific Entertainment.
The project would also include a luxury hotel with 250 rooms, a 3,000-seat theater, and up to 100,000 square feet of gaming space. The project would also include an ancillary development, resulting in a total economic impact of $5.7 billion during the first 10 years. As the city’s mayor, Cynthia Sledge didn’t elaborate on specific elements of the Urban One project. She also did not elaborate on the plan’s advertised value.
It would be the city’s only economically challenged casino
The proposal for a new casino in Richmond has gotten much attention from local and national media, including Mayor Stoney, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, Oscar winner Jamie Foxx, and Rev. Al Sharpton. However, not everyone supports the project. Former Richmond City Council candidate Allan-Charles Chipman said the casino would not lead to the economic development Richmond promised. Chipman argued the casino would further exploitation of people living in a historically poor neighborhood. In the end, the casino was rejected by voters. Richmond is the last of five economically challenged Virginia cities to vote on the casino referendum. Danville, Portsmouth, and Bristol all passed by wide margins.
While a casino project in Chicago could help a struggling area, it is not for everyone. While the city faces a variety of challenges in the coming years, there is one thing that makes this project particularly attractive: its promise of a new high-paying, low-maintenance job equivalent to a McDonald’s job. The city’s economic future depends on attracting more immigrants and fostering a vibrant business environment.