Richmond Proposes Casino Gambling Tax Cut and Project Increase to $ 562.5 Million


Posted on: May 30, 2021 at 9:04 am.

Last updated on: May 30, 2021, 10:28 a.m.

Earlier this month, officials in Richmond, Va. Chose the Urban One casino land as the winner of the capital’s only potential gaming license. The media conglomerate is teaming up with Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E), a seasoned casino and resort operator, on the development.

Richmond Casino Urban One Casino Resort
Virginia’s capital, Richmond, has already chosen Urban One’s ONE Casino + Resort plan. Now the project needs the support of local voters. (Image: Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Before voters in the area decide whether or not to authorize the commercial gambling project through a ballot referendum in the fall election, Richmond City Council is in the process of finalizing the details of the business with Urban One.

In the meantime, city council is working on the fine print, and the government agency has already agreed on a small incentive for Urban One to quickly get into construction if voters approve the business.

In the new “Resort Casino Host Community Agreement”, the city states that it will reduce its tourist tax on the gross gaming revenue (GGR) generated at the casino in its first year, but only if the establishment opens “on or before December 31, 2023.” If ONE Casino + Resort – as the development is called – welcomes players on or before that date, its first year GGR tax will be reduced by 3.0% to 1.875 %.

An independent tax analysis of a Richmond casino concluded that the city’s annual tax share from gambling would be between $ 19 million and $ 22 million.

Increased casino costs

Urban One found favor in Richmond by targeting its casino complex at the Philip Morris headquarters and in the manufacturing area along I-95 south of the city. The other two casino finalists – Bally’s and The Cordish Companies – wanted to build in more suburban areas, and this drew strong reactions from neighborhoods.

Urban One, however, was the smallest overall investment at $ 517 million. Bally suggested a $ 650 million build and Cordish $ 600 million.

But since being chosen by the city, ONE Casino + Resort’s budget has exploded. The condition sheet states that the total capital investment “must be at least $ 562,534,705”. This includes the one-time upfront payment of $ 25 million to the city.

ONE Casino Details

The terms sheet for the casino resort details just about every aspect of the property that might be of interest.

The entire complex must be at least one million square feet, with the casino floor measuring at least 85,500 square feet. The casino will feature slots, table games, a poker room, sports betting and a high limit gaming area.

The hotel must include 250 or more rooms in a tower of at least 12 floors. The conference space should be approximately 70,000 square feet and the theater should accommodate approximately 3,000 people.

A total of 15 restaurants and bars will be on-site, and half are expected to be managed by local hospitality vendors. Urban One will finance the construction and special accommodation of catering establishments managed by restaurants in Richmond.

On the finance front, Urban One is to donate $ 16 million to local nonprofits over the next 10 years, provide $ 30,000 per year for five years to Richmond Public Schools, and allocate 200,000. dollars per year for problem gambling mitigation.

Of course, it all depends on a simple majority of Richmond voters supporting the casino project in November.

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