Richmond Plans to Vote Again for Casino, Even if State Objects

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin (l.) isn’t going to help Richmond, but the city will follow a court order that permits them to vote again for a casino. Meanwhile, Petersburg is pushing to take the casino instead.

Richmond Plans to Vote Again for Casino, Even if State Objects

The city of Richmond got no help from Governor Glenn Youngkin in its quest for a second referendum on a casino. The first vote last fall narrowly failed. Youngkin said he won’t interfere, which is a good thing for Petersburg in its bid to open a casino instead.

Youngkin said language in the two-year budget bans Richmond from a second referendum for a minimum of a year and also bans the Virginia Lottery from voting on an application for a Richmond casino license for at least 12 months, according to the Richmond Free Press.

The delays allow the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to conduct a study to determine if Petersburg would be a viable site.

No matter—Richmond is planning a second vote in November on the proposed $565 million casino-resort for South Side. City Hall got a court order to put the issue on the ballot again, and short of a counter order, the ballot will continue.

The NAACP backs the effort because the casino proposal comes from minority-owned developer Urban One.

“This is a business issue—an economic development issue,” said state NAACP President Robert N. Barnette Jr. “We will not be derailed or deterred in our fight for economic opportunity and growth that benefits every single citizen of Richmond.”

Richmond Virginia Branch NAACP President James E. “J.J.” Minor III concurred.

“Why wouldn’t we give those who live, work, and play here the ability to vote on the future of this project, especially when Urban One hasn’t asked for a dime from the Commonwealth or any taxpayer for this project?” Minor III said.