The gaming subcommittee of the General Laws and Technology Committee endorsed state senator Joe Morrissey’s legislation on Thursday, WRIC reported. Local officials backed the bill, but a Richmond lobbyist demanded they keep a window open for his city.
Richmond people rejected a plan to add the Urban ONE casino in 2021 by about 1500 votes. Other Virginia towns, including Bristol, Danville, Portsmouth, and Norfolk, approved casino referendums in 2020; Richmond, on the other hand, rejected the proposal.
Despite Richmond’s rejection, Petersburg has pushed through with a referendum to bring the casino to the city while barring a second vote in Richmond for five years. In favor of the One Casino initiative in Richmond, Sen. Morrissey stated they had previously offered the town the casino.
According to the senator, the people’s rejection of the casino had redirected their attention to Petersburg. Morrissey calls Petersburg “an iconic American city” and says the casino will help tackle concerns like population loss and employment loss.
This will prevent Richmond from voting again on the matter if Morrissey’s bill passes. The Richmond City Council approved a second attempt at the failed idea earlier this week. They passed three resolutions and two ordinances Monday night to place the project back on the November ballot.
Her colleagues, Urban One CEO Alfred Liggins, and local people supported mayor Reva Trammell’s efforts to revive the casino idea.
The Progress-Index writes that lawmakers in Fresh Jersey have agreed to amend Rep. Cory Murphy’s (D-NJ) measure to restrict localities from having new gaming referendums for five years. Under the original statute, there would have been no more chances to vote.
Now that the General Assembly has decided, Richmond’s City Council’s plan to organize a new referendum is useless. Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney’s spokeswoman said the mayor disapproved of the law, which Richmond lobbyist Ron Jordan claimed the city would oppose.
According to WRIC, Morrissey stated on Thursday that they want a review or reversal of this judgment, effectively arguing that since we lost, let’s try again. Undaunted, they can try again if they fail again. He went on to add that this is not how democracy works.
According to Urban ONE CEO Alfred Liggins, it would pass a second time. The government believes many Richmonders were confused about where the project’s funding would go, which contributed to the referendum’s loss.