City Rejects Three Of Six Casino Proposals
The city of Richmond has rejected three of its six casino proposals. While the likes of Rhode Island-based Bally’s Corp., Baltimore-based Cordish Cos., and a partnership between Colonial Downs and Maryland-based media company Urban One Inc. Are still under consideration, the proposals of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, Golden Nugget Hotels & Casinos and Wind Creek Hospitality have been rejected.
The news of the rejection have been met by lots of disapproval from the parties involved.
“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 Richmond casino selection process,” Pamunkey Chief Robert Gray said in a statement. “The timing of the decision, which comes before the public comment period has even concluded, seriously undermines confidence in the selection process and suggests a predetermined outcome has been reached. The timing of this decision also suggests that public and community input will not be seriously considered in this process.
“Further, it appears that the city of Richmond did not afford the Pamunkey Indian Tribe the optional preference in state law that recognizes the Pamunkey Tribe’s ancestral heritage in the region. The Pamunkey Indian Tribe submitted the only 100% minority-owned, Virginia-based proposal. We were shocked to learn of our early dismissal from a process occurring in our native region and state, particularly in light of the fact that the tribe was one of the first entities — if not the first — to talk to the city about gaming before commercial gaming was legalized in the commonwealth.”
Wind Creek Hospitality aired its displeasure in a statement. “We are disappointed to learn that Wind Creek Hospitality will not be considered for the Richmond casino project. We strongly believe that Wind Creek sets itself apart from other operators by not only building casino resorts, but by building up the communities our properties are located within. We wish the best of luck to the other operators and to the city of Richmond as they continue through the selection process.”
Bringing Down The Numbers
The city gave its reasons for bringing down in number in a statement from the Mayor’s office. “These proposals did not advance due to factors such as lack of site control, concerns about the feasibility of financial projections, lack of organizational experience and/or deficiency of the proposal,” according to the statement. “The top-ranked proposals stood out because the operators provided strong proposals with detailed financial and operational analyses to support their vision for a resort casino in Richmond. The evaluation panel will enter into the next phase of evaluation and begin negotiations with these operators, while continuing to engage the Richmond community.”
The final selection will be presented this summer. However, Richmond voters will make the final choice in a November referendum.