Virginia casino union welcomes delay on second Richmond casino referendum

The One Casino, backed by Urban One, will have to wait at least another year.
The One Casino, backed by Urban One, will have to wait at least another year.

Casino workers in the state of Virginia have welcomed the Senate’s decision to further delay ONE Casino.

US.- Richmond’s hotel and casino workers union, Unite Here Local 25, has welcomed the Virginia Senate budget amendment that would prevent another referendum on a new Richmond area casino before November 2023. 

The union has questioned the reality of the 1,500 jobs that it’s been claimed the proposed One Casino and Resort in Richmond would create. They believe any jobs created would be low-quality, base-paying positions with poor benefits and little sustainability. 

Residents in Richmond, Virginia, rejected Urban One´s plan to construct a $565m casino on the city’s Southside last November. While Richmond City Council voted to revive the referendum in January 2022, discussions have now been pushed back by a further 18 months.

Sam Epps, political director of Unite Here Local 25, said: “[We are] workers disproportionately affected by income inequality and bad jobs. Workers need to understand how they will benefit from new casino development before it moves forward.”

“While we are grateful to City and Mayor of Richmond for their shared commitment to creating good jobs, we are concerned that Urban One may not share their goals. We urge the House of Delegates to concur with the Senate’s budget amendment for further study of new gaming development. Whether this casino is built in Richmond or Petersburg, it should be built in a way that benefits the community and the Commonwealth, not simply enriches a developer.”

Urban One’s plan was to construct a 90,000 square foot gaming floor with 2,000 slot machines, over 100 gaming tables, a competition poker room, and a sportsbook. In addition to gaming, the hotel would have offered 250 4-Star, AAA 4-Diamond luxury rooms, with the capacity to expand to 600 rooms.

See also: Residents reject casino plan for Richmond, Virginia

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