Opening date setback for Virginia casino


In the southern American state of Virginia and the projected opening date for the envisioned One Casino and Resort has reportedly been pushed back by some nine months to late-2024 owing to delays associated with getting the project approved.

According to a Thursday report from the Richmond Free Press newspaper, the planned $600 million facility is due to sit on the south side of the city of Richmond and feature a 90,000 sq ft casino as well as a 3,000-seat entertainments venue. The source detailed that the scheduled opening date for an adjacent 250-room hotel has similarly been postponed with this luxury offering now not expected to begin welcoming guests before the end of 2025.

Spring success:

The newspaper reported that One Casino and Resort is a project of the RVA Entertainment Holdings subsidiary of local radio broadcasting group Urban One, which markets itself as the largest minority-owned media company in the United States. This firm purportedly overcame competition from The Cordish Companies, Bally’s Corporation and the Pamunkey Indian Tribe in May to be selected as the preferred casino operating partner for the city of some 204,000 people.

Subsequent setback:

However, the Richmond Free Press reported that the projected gambling-friendly project’s earlier scheduled opening date of December of 2023 has since been scuppered owing to a delay in gaining the required preliminary approval of RVA Entertainment Holdings from the Virginia Lottery regulator. The source explained that this consent also concerns the intended 100-acre host site currently owned by Philip Morris International and is now expected to be granted later this month or by early-August.

Plebiscite prerequisite:

Once these permissions have been received, the newspaper reported that Richmond is to be obliged to put the entire project and its associated financial terms before local voters via a November 2 referendum. The source divulged that the electorate’s approval would oblige RVA Entertainment Holdings hand over a $15 million deposit to the Virginia Lottery by mid-December and wait while the regulator conducted an up to twelve-month ‘deep dive’ into its ownership and financing.

Heightened hesitancy:

The Richmond Free Press reported that Alfred Liggins serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer for Urban One and he has declared a reluctance to start pouring money into the casino project before it has received the final thumbs up from the Virginia Lottery. The company purportedly plans to finance the entire Richmond development via the issuance of some $200 million in stock with voting rights and will furthermore be obliged to pay the city $25 million should the referendum be passed.

Community commitment:

Finally, the newspaper reported that RVA Entertainment Holdings is to moreover be obligated to hand over $500,000 to Richmond to help cover various consulting and legal costs and later hire a minimum of 1,000 full-time staff and provide the region with $2.5 million in complimentary advertising. The terms of the coming relationship will purportedly also require the operator to pay its staff at least $15 an hour, exhibit local works of art, produce an average of $5 million a year in new on-site media content and contribute to the city’s schools and non-profit organizations.