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Richmond Asks For Residents’ Input on Potential Casino

A conceptual rendering of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe's proposed casino resort in Richmond's Southside.
A conceptual rendering of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe's proposed casino resort in Richmond's Southside. (Courtesy of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe)

Richmond officials want to know what residents want out of a potential casino resort development.

The city released an online survey for residents on Tuesday that it says will inform a request for project proposals that’s expected to go out later this month. The survey asks residents to rank various community benefits they’d want out of a casino development, from childcare for employees to investment from the developer into affordable housing.

While the Virginia Lottery Board regulates casinos, the city could ask developers to sign onto a community benefits agreement to ensure the project meets residents’ goals. 

“A competitive selection process will allow us to assess the best opportunity for Richmond,” Mayor Levar Stoney said in a statement. “This survey is your opportunity to make sure the development proposals reflect your priorities, such as living-wage jobs, sustainable building practices and investment in the community.”

The city, along with an outside consulting firm, plans to evaluate the proposals and select a casino operator sometime between February and June 2021. Richmond voters will ultimately decide whether or not to approve the casino in a ballot referendum in November. 

Voters overwhelmingly approved casino resorts in the four other Virginia localities who were given the opportunity under state law. So far, only the Pamunkey Indian Tribe has announced plans for a casino in Richmond. It’d be located in Southside, near the intersection of Ingraham Avenue and Commerce Road. 

Leaders from neighboring civic associations voiced concerns about a casino’s effects on crime and roads at a community meeting attended by Pamunkey Chief Robert Gray earlier this year. 
The survey, which is open until Dec. 14, can be found here.

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