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Richmond, Virginia Could Be Home To The First Black-Owned Casino Ever

Richmond, Virginia could be home to the first Black-owned casino in the United States after city administration officials chose Urban One over several other proposals.

Urban One is based in Silver Spring, Maryland, and was founded in 1980. You may recognize the name as it’s primarily a media company operating radio and TV programming geared towards African Americans. It is the largest Black-owned TVnetwork and distributor of urban content in the nation.

Richmond City officials negotiated terms for Urban One to build a $560 million Black-owned casino resort near the intersection of Commerce Road and Walmsley Boulevard. Now that the city has given the green light for the casino, the ultimate decision will rest in the hands of voters.

Per state law, the city cannot permit a casino unless voters approve plans for a specific project, operator, and site in a public referendum. The City Council will vote on the terms of the deal in June and then a petition will be filed to the Richmond Circuit Court to hold the referendum on Nov. 2, 2021.

If approved, One Casino + Resort would be a more than 2-million-square-foot development with 55 acres of green space named Glory Park. It would house a casino, a 250-room hotel named Legacy Tower, a dozen of bars and restaurants, and a performance venue named Rise Theater, as reported in WTOP. The theater would host approximately 200 live shows per year and to no surprise, would include on-site radio and TV studios.

City officials expect the Black-owned casino resort to generate $30 million in annual local tax revenue.

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