As Richmond officials consider the possibility of a casino within the city’s boundaries, local leaders are weighing in on the concept.
A majority of respondents to this week’s Richmond Power Poll believe the casino will be a good addition for the city, but respondents unanimously believed that the former Navy Hill proposal downtown would have been a better one.
Overall, 52% of respondents said that the casino would be a good addition for Richmond, while just 19% said it wouldn’t. About 29% indicated that it was too soon to know for sure.
But when asked which project makes, or would have made, more sense for Richmond, 100% of respondents chose the Navy Hill proposal, which would have included a new indoor arena in downtown Richmond, as well as associated retail, residential and commercial development.
After a period of several years, that concept died in early 2020 when it failed to garner necessary support from Richmond City Council.
The principals involved with that proposal then quickly shifted their focus to Henrico County and late last year announced a similar, but even larger, plan known as GreenCity that they intend to build at the intersection of I-95 and Parham Road. It too will feature an indoor arena, as well as retail, residential and commercial development.
Survey respondents overwhelmingly said that they would prefer to have the GreenCity development in their locality (86%) than the casino project (14%).
Still, a majority of respondents also indicated that they would likely visit a casino at least once a year; 43% said they’d do so once or twice, 14% said they’d go a handful of times annually and 5% said they’d probably go more than six times a year. About 38% said they did not expect to visit.
The non-scientific survey included 21 responses from the 125 people polled, for a response rate of nearly 17%.
Richmond City Council officials have indicated that they are now considering only two casino proposals – one that would be located near the Philip Morris plant in south Richmond and another that would be located adjacent to the Bowtie Cinemas near Boulevard and The Diamond. Ultimately, city voters will decide whether to permit a casino within the city's boundaries, during a November referendum.