Planned Richmond Casino Opening Delayed By At Least 9 Months

Written By Dann Stupp on July 12, 2021 - Last Updated on August 1, 2023
Richmond casino opening

Voters have yet to decide on One Casino + Resort, but officials have already delayed the proposed Richmond casino opening by at least nine months.

In November, voters in the Virginia capital city will decide whether to green-light the $560 million project.

Voters can approve a casino referendum on Election Day in November. If they do, Urban One and its partners at Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (PPE) will construct and operate the facility in South Richmond.

However, they’ve already delayed the proposed timeline for the Virginia casino opening.

Richmond casino opening pushed back

Urban One, a Washington DC-area media conglomerate, is the largest African-American-owned broadcasting company in the US.

With help from PPE, which owns the Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums and Colonial Downs racetrack in Virginia, Urban One beat out five other proposals for the Richmond casino project.

In May, Mayor Levar Stoney told the Richmond City Council that officials were targeting a Richmond casino opening date of Dec. 31, 2023.

Now, though, Leonard L. Sledge, Richmond’s economic development director, presented a new timeline. And he said October 2024 is the new target. That’s when the casino would open. An attached hotel could also be delayed until the fourth quarter of 2025.

Reason for One Casino + Resort delay

According to Sledge, the delay is due to Virginia’s casino regulator.

As Sledge told the council’s Organizational Development Committee:

“The one factor that is not under our control is the Virginia Lottery.”

The VA Lottery must give preliminary approval to the city’s choice of a casino developer and the site at Commerce Road and Walmsley Boulevard. Then the city can formally put the issue on the ballot for Richmond voters.

If approved, lotto officials will conduct a thorough background investigation into the company before awarding a casino license.

Richmond now even later to Virginia casino party

Richmond will hold its casino referendum on Nov. 2. However, that’s a full year behind four other Virginia cities that all overwhelmingly approved casinos during 2020 Election Day.

In a state with no current casino gambling, Virginia will soon have multiple options. However, One Casino + Resort is already behind the eight-ball.

Here are when the other Virginia casino-resorts are slated to open:

Photo by Dreamsite / Sean Pavone
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Dann Stupp

Dann Stupp is a longtime sports journalist who’s written and edited for The Athletic, USA Today, ESPN, and other outlets. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.

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