Black-owned Silver Spring company chosen for Richmond casino

If Richmond, Virginia, voters approve a proposed casino in their city this fall, Silver Spring, Maryland-based Urban One will own and operate it.

It would make the casino, currently named One Casino + Resort, the first majority Black-owned casino in the country.

A Richmond city selection panel chose Urban One over several other bids, including one from Baltimore-based Cordish Cos., the owner and operator of Maryland’s Live! Casino & Hotel in Arundel Mills.

Urban One, founded in 1980, is primarily a media company operating radio and TV programing focusing on African American audiences. It is the largest Black-owned TV network and distributor of urban content in the nation.

Approval of the Richmond casino is a referendum on the November ballot.

If approved, One Casino + Resort, would be a 2.9-million-square-foot development encompassing 55 acres of green space named Glory Park. It would house a casino, a 250-room hotel named Legacy Tower, a dozen bars and restaurants and a performance venue named Rise Theater. The theater would host 200 live shows per year.

It also would include on-site radio and TV studios and a sound stage.

As part of the development, Urban One has committed $30 million to charitable contributions and initiatives in Richmond.

“We are fully committed to creating good paying jobs with profit-sharing employees, pathways to successful careers and generating significant new tax revenues that can improve Richmond’s schools and fund community programs and infrastructure,” said Urban One CEO Alfred Liggens in a statement.

One Casino + Resort would be a partnership with Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, which owns the Colonial Downs racetrack in Virginia.

Urban One has posted information about its planned Richmond casino online.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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