Churchill Downs Optimistic Pertaining to Richmond Casino Chance

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Posted on: March 5, 2022, 04:12h. 

Past up to date on: March 5, 2022, 04:29h.

Churchill Downs Inc. agreed final thirty day period to get most of Peninsula Pacific Entertainment’s (P2E) belongings for $2.485 billion. The takeover incorporates the casino operator’s growth arrangement with Urban One for a undertaking in Richmond, Virginia, should really voters there approve of the practically $600 million proposal.

Churchill Downs P2E Urban One Richmond Virginia
Churchill Downs CEO Invoice Carstanjen stands in the grandstands of his company’s namesake horse racing venue, which performs host to the Kentucky Derby. (Impression: Churchill Downs)

City A person, a Black-centered media conglomerate, is partnered with P2E on the job identified as A single Casino + Resort. But Richmond voters turned down the $565 million on line casino during the city’s 2021 election.

Richmond is 1 of five metropolitan areas in Virginia that qualifies under a 2020 bill to contemplate a industrial casino undertaking to spark its regional financial state. Richmond is the only city of the handful that has not taken advantage of its casino prospect by way of a nearby referendum.

Richmond’s on line casino ambitions ended up supported by the Metropolis Council and Mayor Levar Stoney. Those officers aren’t ready to give up on the doable financial stimulator. The council has now passed ordinances to initiate a second referendum on 1 Casino + Resort, but point out laws could interfere.

Churchill Intrigued

Churchill Downs’ virtually $2.5 billion perform for Peninsula Pacific was predominantly because of P2E’s considerable functions in Virginia.

P2E owns and operates Colonial Downs Racetrack, a thoroughbred facility in New Kent, as well as 6 Rosie’s gaming emporiums, positioned across the commonwealth. The Rosie’s venues give historic horse racing (HHR) terminals, slot-like devices that are based mostly on pari-mutuel horse races beforehand operate.

Peninsula Pacific broke floor on a large HHR-based casino vacation resort in Dumfries in January. Dubbed The Rose Gaming Resort, the $400 million task in Prince William County seeks to tap into the coveted DC marketplace. Churchill is acquiring that improvement, also.

Richmond would be icing on the cake. Speaking not long ago with Richmond’s local ABC affiliate, Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen suggests the prospect is attractive.

It’s a good option for Richmond. I consider it’s a terrific possibility for the state,” Carstanjen mentioned.

Not all people agrees that Richmond should really be able to inquire voters on the casino difficulty for a second yr in a row. Virginia Senator Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond) is main an effort in the condition capital to prevent Richmond from keeping another on line casino referendum for at least two several years.

Morrissey, whose district involves portions of Petersburg, favors allowing the neighboring city to as an alternative consider its have casino growth. But for that to occur, state lawmakers would need to permit the unissued Richmond gaming license to transfer to Petersburg.

Clarity Coming

Carstanjen explained, assuming Churchill Downs’ takeover of P2E goes through in the coming months, his organization will be all set to have on with City A single. He says the partnership will to start with hold out and see what develops in the Virginia Normal Assembly.

Urban Just one CEO Alfred Liggins voiced a somewhat considerably less optimistic tone.

The political natural environment ideal now is uncertain,” Liggins informed the Washington Company Journal past week. “Even if we get a chance to operate a referendum once more, it’s a 50-50 shot, correct?”

The 2021 Richmond casino referendum for Just one On line casino + Vacation resort was narrowly rejected by a vote of 51-49%. Voting effects confirmed that white, more affluent neighborhoods voted from the casino, though much more assorted — and more impoverished — communities voted in its favor.