New poll shows Richmond casino referendum will be close call

October 31, 2023

Campaigners for the casino have amassed and spent

Richmond Virginia recently polled its voters to see whether residents are in favor of the proposed Richmond Grand Resort and Casino — while backers of the project threw a block party. According to local reports, 43% said they would ‘definitely vote no’ on a casino referendum.

Since the project rebranded, the casino has signed a labor agreement with the Richmond Area Building and Construction Trades Council union and proposed that the casino’s tax funds would be used for childcare relief. Last week, however, the No Means No Casino group won a federal lawsuit against the Virginia Board of Elections after voter registration lists were not made available in the area.

The poll was undertaken ahead of Election Day on November 7 as early ballots come in. Participants in the poll also showed that a further 9% would ‘likely vote no’ on the casino referendum, while 39% would ‘definitely vote yes’, and a further 10% would ‘likely vote yes.’

According to those polled, 45% said they voted for the casino proposal back in 2021, while 46% said they voted no and 10% said they either weren’t sure or hadn’t voted.

However, No Means No Casino has not raised as much money as the Richmond Wins, Vote Yes committee, which has generated over $8.4m and spent $6m from August to September this year as part of its campaign. No Means No Casino has spent nearly all of its money raised, which amounts to over $260,000 in contrast.

Part of the fanfare around the campaign for the casino included a free concert held last weekend by developers Urban One and Churchill Downs, featuring the Isley Brothers. The Richmond Grand website said the concert was sold out and had issued 6,000 tickets before it started.

The concert and block party took place at the Hickory Hill Community Center, which is one of the city’s three early voting locations.


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