Two new plans
Two high-profile gaming companies have introduced casino proposals in Virginia. Bally’s Corporation and The Cordish Companies are interested in opening a casino resort in the state’s capital city of Richmond. Both companies have plans to spend hundreds of millions on their projects, featuring their respective, well-known brands.
must be reviewed by a nine-member evaluation panel
The Pamunkey Indian Tribe and media company Urban One have also introduced proposals for casinos in Richmond. Each of the proposals must be reviewed by a nine-member evaluation panel with assistance from the Convergence Strategy Group consulting firm. Before any project can move forward, the plans must be approved by the Richmond City Council, Virginia Lottery, and local voters.
Bally’s $650m Richmond casino proposal
Rhode Island-based Bally’s Corporation has plans to create a $650m, 1.6-million-square-foot casino facility in the capital. The gaming floor will house 2,500 slot games along with 90 table games.
The property will also include a high-limit section, 30 poker tables, a sportsbook, and a 250-room hotel. Retail shopping, live entertainment, conference space, and 13 dining venues are also included in the plans.
Construction on the project would take around 18 months. The goal is to have the new facility open by 2024. The operator has estimated that as many as 3.7 million people will visit each year.
Benefiting the community
Bally’s has plans to create several initiatives to benefit the Richmond community, including an interactive program for players to redeem casino rewards at local retailers. Titled Richmond Rewards, the program will feature products of local businesses via a virtual store.
embrace and showcase the city’s existing culture and traditions”
The new property will add 1,700 full-time jobs to Richmond. Chief executive and president of Bally’s George Papanier commented on the proposal, stating it 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.”
Bally’s Richmond would create a new attraction for the city that would turn it into a “dynamic tourist destination”, Papanier added.
Cordish Companies proposal
Known for its Live! Casino brands in Maryland and Pennsylvania, the Cordish Companies is ready to offer gaming services in Richmond. The operator has plans to create a Live! Casino & Hotel Richmond with a more than $600m investment.
Cordish would build the casino in Scott’s Addition. A luxury hotel would offer 300 guest rooms and 30 suites. The company included a spa, fitness center, live entertainment venue, and multi-use event space in the plans.
Cordish estimates that the project will generate around $5.3m for the city’s economy in 10 years. It will create 5,000+ new direct and indirect jobs during the construction process. More than 3,000 jobs are expected once the facility is operational.
Additional Richmond casino pitches
There are two more casino proposals currently under consideration in Richmond. The Pamunkey Indian Tribe has proposed a venue on the Southside of the city. The tribe plans on spending $350m on a 300-guest room hotel tower, several restaurants, and of course, a casino.
Media company Urban One revealed Richmond casino plans last week, ready to spend $517m on the project. If approved, the property would be the first casino under Black ownership in the United States. Urban One has partnered with Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, the owner of Colonial Downs.
Last year, Virginia voters approved four cities for casino gaming: Norfolk, Portsmouth, Danville, and Bristol. This year, Richmond residents will need to approve casino development via a November ballot referendum.