Proposed casino developers discuss project with Richmond residents

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A meeting Monday night gave some Richmonders insight into the proposed casino project that’s set to hit the ballot soon. 

Residents came together in Richmond’s Northside to learn more about the casino project that could possibly be coming to the area. Those residents were taking notes, listening and asking questions about the Richmond Grand Resort and Casino project.   

The meeting took place just days before early voting is set to kick off. It’s something investors didn’t do the last time voters narrowly rejected a proposed casino in 2021, according to the CEO of Urban One, Alfred Liggins.   

“The new approach is to touch as many people as possible with the most information so people can be informed about what this project actually is,” Liggins said.  

Some residents wanted to come out to learn what will be different this time, including Richmond resident Eric Imajo. 

“We were only hearing one side — from the business itself,” said Imajo. “And what I heard about local government is that they were fully behind this. And I just wanted to hear some of the specifics because I wasn’t getting the information that I needed to hear.”

If approved by voters this fall, Richmond Grand will be a resort, casino and entertainment complex just off Interstate 95. It’s projected to create around 1,300 jobs and bring in at least $30 million in annual tax revenue for the City of Richmond.     

Based on what developers said during the meeting, the minimum baseline pay could also likely range between 18 to 20 dollars an hour, which translates into roughly $40k per year. Developers said when you take into consideration all the jobs that will be filled, the average pay comes out higher.  

“It’ll be about $55,000 salary per job. And it also comes with a full suite of benefits,” CEO of Churchill Downs, William C. Carstanjen said. 

Developers hope these community meetings will give residents the reassurance they need to vote yes when they see the casino on the ballot this time around.  

“We want them to have an opportunity to ask us questions, concerns, issues, but also to really be specific and granular about the amenities related to this resort casino project, and why it’s good for all of Richmond,” Liggins said.

The next community meeting about the casino will be held in the 1st district on September 28th.

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