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It's official: One Casino won't be on Richmond ballots this November

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At the request of city officials, a Richmond Circuit Court judge has officially signed an order to remove the casino referendum question from local ballots in this year’s election.

The court order entered Friday comes after Urban One, the national media company behind the One Casino and Resort project that 51% of voters rejected last year, announced it had asked the city to stop trying to hold the referendum because of legal problems that could arise.

Williams: On a casino, Richmond had its shot. Let Petersburg have theirs.

A Twitter account for the city’s Office of Elections posted Wednesday morning that “it has possession of the court order that officially removes the casino referendum from the November ballot.”

Though the court had granted a city request last March to hold the do-over referendum this year, the General Assembly in June passed a new state budget that included an explicit provision that said Richmond could not hold another casino referendum until 2023. The budget language says a study on the potential impact that a casino in Petersburg would have must also be completed first.

Urban One CEO Alfred Liggins and his mother, Cathy Hughes, the founder and chairperson of the company, have said they want the city to hold another referendum in Richmond next year.

Urban One and city officials have said the casino resort could generate approximately $30 million in annual tax revenue for Richmond, though opponents take issue with allowing casino gambling in the city for moral and social reasons, such as an anticipated rise in crime, poverty and addiction.

'I was expecting it to pass': Urban One casino fails despite being heavily favored by voters in South Richmond

“The City stands ready to move the proposed One Casino + Resort forward in 2023,” Mayor Levar Stoney’s administration said in a media release earlier this month. “This temporary delay will not deter Urban One or the City of Richmond from working together to ensure a bright future for our residents.”

State Sen. Joe Morrissey, D-Richmond, and several Petersburg officials, however, have said they want state lawmakers to amend the state casino law in the upcoming 2023 legislative session to allow a casino referendum there instead.

'I was expecting it to pass': Urban One casino fails despite being heavily favored by voters in South Richmond
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