‘Why support legislation designed to obstruct a Richmond casino?’
I am strongly opposed to any legislation that has been crafted specifically to obstruct economic development in the city of Richmond. The fact that a state senator, who represents Richmond, would lead the charge to strategically cut Richmond out of an opportunity to build a casino, while feverishly promoting a casino in Petersburg, is unconscionable.
Richmond was one of the five original cities selected by the legislature to build a casino. Curiously, the other four cities have all moved forward with building their casinos without opposition. It has not gone unnoticed that the proposed Richmond casino would be the only Black-owned casino in the state and that it plans to offer profit-sharing for its employees.
The Richmond proposal indicates that approximately 2,050 new jobs would be created by the casino. According to the state’s own research, a Richmond casino would generate almost $300 million in net gaming revenue, over $91 million in local tax revenue and over $33 million in state gaming tax. In fact, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission reported that a Richmond casino would be the highest earning facility in the state.
The proposed Richmond casino will be an $800 million private investment, which will greatly enhance economic development in our capital city. It will undoubtedly create a long-lasting opportunity to positively impact the citizens of Richmond and the entire state. So the “million dollar question” is, “WHY” would anyone support legislation that was crafted with the single purpose to obstruct Richmond from realizing such a tremendous economic opportunity?
BIRDIE HAIRSTON JAMISON