Virginia Capital Selects Three Finalists for City’s Lone Casino Resort License

Posted on: March 25, 2021, 08:52h. 

Last updated on: July 5, 2021, 01:15h.

The City of Richmond, Va., has narrowed the field of casino resort schemes in half. Three casino bids remain, including Bally’s, Live!, and One Casino. 

Richmond casino Virginia gaming
Three casino bids remain in Richmond, Va. Bally’s, Live!, and One Casino are the contenders for the gaming privileges. The front of the three casinos in other locations is seen above. (Image: City of Richmond)

Mayor Levar Stone’s office released the news that three of the six real money casino proposals submitted to the capital city have been rejected. Bids from Golden Nugget, the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, and Wind Creek Hospitality were each eliminated for various reasons.

A press release on their dismissals cited factors such as lack of site control, concerns regarding the feasibility of financial projections, deficiency of the bid, and lack of organizational experience. 

The remaining contenders are Bally’s, The Cordish Companies, and a joint pitch from Colonial Downs and Urban One. Their respective casinos are branded as Bally’s Richmond Casino Resort, Live! Casino & Hotel Richmond, and One Casino + Resort.

Richmond Details Review Process

The Virginia capital was one of five cities that qualified for a casino resort license under legislation passed last year and signed by Gov. Ralph Northam (D). So long as local voters back a referendum on the commercial gaming issue, the five cities can authorize a gaming project in hopes of spurring its regional economy. 

Four have already done so. Richmond opted to wait a year to allow the numerous interested parties to best prepare their tenders, and also give more time for the public to determine where they stand on gambling.

The Richmond Department of Economic Development has formed an Evaluation Panel to review the bids. They will ultimately select the winner, but the project will come to light only if city residents back the referendum question in November. 

The city will host three virtual meetings next week to further discuss the projects. During that time, citizens will be welcomed to ask questions directly to the representatives of the three companies.

  • Live! Casino and Hotel Richmond – March 30
  • One Casino + Resort – March 31
  • Bally’s Richmond Casino Resort – April 1

Each meeting will be conducted via Microsoft Teams and begin at 6 pm. 

Casino Finalists 

The three remaining casino presentations offer various plans for citizens to consider.

Bally’s Richmond is a proposed $650 million integrated casino resort. It includes a $100 million upfront payment to the city. The destination would sit on 61 acres in the Gravel Hill neighborhood. The casino would feature 2,500 slot machines, 90 table games, a 30-table poker room, a sportsbook, a 250-room hotel, and a 3,000-seat theater. 

Live! Richmond is a $600 million offer with 2,000 slots, 120 table games, and a poker room, a 300-room boutique hotel, a wellness center, a resort pool, a concert space, and an outdoor community lawn. Cordish seeks to build the resort in Scott’s Addition. 

One Casino Richmond is a $517 million pitch that is billing itself as the “only black-owned casino in the country.” Along with a 90,000-square-foot casino, the 100-acre complex would include a 150-room hotel, a 55-acre park and green space, and television and radio production studios. Urban One and Colonial Downs are targeting land currently owned by Philip Morris just off I-95 at Commerce Road.