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Richmond Casino Referendum Redo Odds Shorten


Posted on: July 7, 2023, 08:06h. 

Final up to date on: July 7, 2023, 10:04h.

The Richmond on line casino referendum deliberate for this November’s election noticed its odds enhance this week. That’s after lawmakers within the Virginia capital hit a stalemate attempting to determine methods to spend a $3.6 billion surplus.

Richmond casino referendum Virginia budget
The Virginia State Capitol in Richmond. State lawmakers are laboring to go a finances invoice to Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), as tensions over a $3.6 billion surplus stay excessive. The deadlock is probably going bettering the percentages of Richmond voters this November being confronted with a on line casino poll referendum for a second time in three years. (Picture: Adobe Inventory)

Outgoing state Sen. Jim Morrissey (D-Richmond, Petersburg) final 12 months succeeded in convincing his Normal Meeting colleagues to implement a finances provision that prevented Richmond from conducting a second on line casino poll referendum. Richmond voters narrowly rejected a 2021 on line casino query for a proposed built-in resort on the town’s south aspect. The venture would have been alongside I-95, adjoining to the Philip Morris manufacturing campus.

Metropolis officers wish to reask Richmond residents concerning the proposal pitch by Black-focused media conglomerate City One.  The Richmond Metropolis Council believes a extra coordinated message hyping the potential advantages the on line casino would tip the size in its favor.

Morrissey, nevertheless, believes a second referendum in Richmond would violate the need of the folks and the democratic course of. He urged lawmakers to permit close by Petersburg to as an alternative contemplate a on line casino, which a state evaluate concluded would nonetheless profit the capital area about 25 miles north.

Funds Block

Morrissey’s petition resonated with the Normal Meeting in 2022, because the state’s elected officers determined to position a one-year moratorium on Richmond reasking metropolis residents concerning the on line casino presentation. That may delay it till the state’s evaluate of a potential on line casino in Petersburg was carried out. That research, accomplished by the Joint Legislative Audit and Assessment Fee (JLARC), concluded that casinos could be possible in each Richmond and Petersburg, although every could be significantly extra profitable with out the opposite.

Morrissey had hoped to incorporate one more provision into this 12 months’s finances blocking Richmond from internet hosting one other gaming referendum. That may delay issues till lawmakers thought-about his laws to qualify Petersburg as a on line casino host. Virginia’s 2020 gaming invoice designated Norfolk, Portsmouth, Richmond, Bristol, and Danville as potential on line casino areas, as these cities met qualifying financial hardship standards within the statute.

Morrissey, nevertheless, was defeated final month in his Democratic main race and can lose his seat come January. His marketing campaign to dam a Richmond on line casino referendum redo additionally suffered a defeat this week. That’s after Republicans and Democrats failed to search out widespread floor on methods to greatest spend $3.6 billion.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) is anticipated to name a particular session to renew talks to hopefully treatment the finances negotiations standoff. However because the clock ticks, and Richmond continues to prep its on line casino referendum, the percentages lengthen that lawmakers will once more embrace language blocking the capital metropolis from internet hosting a second on line casino poll query.

Spending Deadlock

Few states have the privilege of contemplating methods to spend a surplus. The spending alternative has resulted in gridlock in Richmond, with Republicans looking for to make use of the surplus funds to offer tax cuts, whereas Democrats want to enhance trainer salaries. Democrats additionally wish to present elevated funding for psychological well being providers.

Virginia has held a surplus for a number of years now, as state tax revenues have soared. State officers have credited better-than-expected tax progress, cautious spending, and federal stimulus {dollars} for the excess.


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