Silver Spring media company Urban One Inc. (NASDAQ: UONE) says it remains committed to pursuing a second ballot initiative for its $600 million Richmond casino and, if necessary, will pursue litigation in tandem with Virginia’s capital city to overcome a state budget amendment aimed at sidelining the project.
The Virginia state budget approved last week by the General Assembly included an amendment barring Richmond from holding a second referendum until November 2023, despite a recent judge’s order allowing the new initiative to stay on Richmond’s ballot this November. That delay, part of an effort organized by state Sen. Joe Morrissey, D-Richmond, would allow a feasibility study for a rival casino site in Petersburg to be completed. Morrissey’s district also includes part of the Petersburg area, and the amendment puts that city, located about 25 miles south of Richmond, on track to land the project and cut Urban One out of its casino plans.
Urban One said the state budget amendment “would unlawfully deny Richmonders the opportunity to vote on this critical economic development project.”