There were originally six proposals submitted for the project, but the Evaluation Panel has gone ahead with Bally’s Richmond Casino Resort, Live! Casino & Hotel Richmond and One Casino + Resort.
When making its decision, the panel considered each proposal’s site control, feasibility, community impact and economic development.
Therefore, proposals from Golden Nugget, Wind Creek Hospitality and Pamunkey Indian Tribe Reservation were rejected due to not meeting the required standards.
The panel says the top three proposals stood out because they were able to provide detailed financial and operational analysis. It felt that the operators were able to strongly defend their claim of taking over the Richmond resort.
George Papanier, CEO of Bally’s Corporation, said: “We are excited and honoured to have been selected as a finalist and have the continued opportunity to partner with the city of Richmond, its residents and businesses on this campaign."
While one of the rejected companies said it was “extremely disappointed” in the decision taken by the City of Richmond, Robert Gray, Pamunkey Indian Tribe Chief was bemused at the rejection of the proposal.
Gray added: “The Pamunkey Indian Tribe was extremely disappointed to learn directly from the city of Richmond that its casino proposal would not receive any further consideration in the selection process.
“We were shocked to learn of our early dismissal from a process occurring in our native region and state”.
The next step in the process is to have three virtual meetings next week with each operator. It will allow the businesses to discuss their proposals and for citizens to ask questions directly to the representatives.
The city has also asked members of the public to provide comments on the shortlisted proposals, which can be viewed online. It will then recommend its preferred candidate to City Council.
If the City Council also agrees on the finalist, a referendum will commence on 2 November, allowing all City of Richmond voters to have the final say.