Legal battle over proposed Richmond casino reaches federal court

October 19, 2023

The court will address the matter later this week.

A federal court will address a current lawsuit later this week concerning plans to build a casino in Richmond, Virgina, according to a local NBC Channel 12 news report. The suit involves both Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Elections Susan Beals and several employees of the Virginia State Board of Elections, who were sued by Paul Goldman nearly a month ago.

Goldman has cited 1st and 14th Amendment violations as part of his lawsuit, according to information provided by Activate Virginia. The claim involves “getting voter roll information.”

In recent months, the Richmond City Council has introduced papers for a $562m casino resort project, which would feature a luxury hotel, 55 acres of green space and a live entertainment venue.

Partners Urban ONE and Churchill Downs Incorporated advertised the project nearly two years ago. However, city residents struck down the proposal for the casino resort by a narrow vote in November 2021.

The casino referendum is currently on this election’s ballot, despite local pushback to have the proposal removed. The Richmond Circuit Court recently sided with the city after it was challenged to take the topic off the ballot.

Should the proposal remain on the upcoming ballot after a federal court hearing, voters could once again have a chance to decide on whether they want a casino in Richmond.

Virginia is currently home to two casinos, Rivers Casino Portsmouth and Bristol Casino – Future Home of Hard Rock.

As of 2020, casino referendums have passed in Portsmouth, Norfolk, Danville and Bristol. Richmond remains the only Virginia city to reject a casino referendum.


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