Richmond city government solicits proposals for resort casino
Voters will decide project's fate in November 2021 referendum
Richmond has issued a request for qualifications/proposals, the first step in launching a competitive process for bringing a resort casino to the state capital, subject to voter approval.
Earlier this year, Gov. Ralph Northam signed legislation allowing five economically challenged cities — including Richmond — to open casinos. Voters in Bristol, Danville, Norfolk and Portsmouth overwhelmingly approved casinos in referendums held during the November 2020 elections.
For Richmond’s casino project to go forward, Richmond city government must select a single preferred casino operator and location. Richmond voters must then grant approval for the proposal in a Nov. 2, 2021, referendum. Proposals are due to Richmond city government no later than 3 p.m. on Feb. 22, 2021. At that time, the selection process will begin, which will include soliciting feedback from city residents and consulting third-party experts.
“This competitive selection process will allow us to find the best opportunity for Richmond, an economic development project that includes well-paying jobs and workforce training opportunities,” said Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney in a statement. “Ultimately, the operator selected for this project must bring to the table the economic opportunity and community benefits voters will support in November.”
The city will review the responses to the RFQ/P and evaluate the comparative merits of each potential operator’s vision for a Richmond resort casino and the socioeconomic benefits that such a project may bring to Richmond, its residents and its business community.
The request encourages interested parties to propose a casino project that accomplishes the following objectives:
- induces capital and ongoing investment in the city to make a significant and lasting contribution to the community
- creates sustainable and well-paying jobs, new employment opportunities, and workforce training programs for Richmond residents
- acts as a catalyst for additional economic development in the city and enhances the city’s economic and community development objectives
- contributes to the city’s efforts to attract sustainable economic benefits from tourism
- maximizes the economic impact of the project by including components beyond gaming, including hotel, non-gaming entertainment, or other commercial activities
- supports the city’s mission to facilitate, produce and advance opportunities for minority business enterprises and emerging small businesses to successfully participate in the full array of contracting opportunities available in the City of Richmond
- adds to and support the existing Richmond entertainment community
- provides a high-quality development of which Richmond can be proud
- is located in an area supported by the community as an appropriate location for a casino and mitigates any potential adverse impacts on the community, the city and residents
- provides resources and additional revenues to the city