Browse articles by topic

Wind Creek and Golden Nugget join race for Richmond, Virginia casino


Wind Creek Hospitality and Golden Nugget have become the latest major gaming groups to submit bids for the casino resort project in Richmond, Virginia.

Some six operators have now entered the race, with a decision on the preferred casino operator and location to be made by the City of Richmond in June. The successful applicant will be awarded the right to develop, construct and operate a destination resort in the city.

Wind Creek, which operates 10 resorts in North America, has proposed a $541m project in two phases which includes 100,000 sq ft of casino gaming space with 2,500 slot machines and 120 table games. It would also feature two 252-room hotel towers, seven food and beverage outlets, a spa, indoor pool and fitness centre, and a 67,000 sq ft entertainment centre.

”Wind Creek Hospitality is excited to be considered for this project,” said Arthur Mothershed, executive vice president of business development and government affairs at the group, which is affiliated with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

”We operate several regional and destination casino resorts domestically and in the Caribbean, and feel that our expertise in gaming, our focus on diversity and strongly partnering with the communities we serve gives us an unmatched edge against our competition.”

Golden Nugget’s proposed 950,000-square-foot facility would include a 177-room hotel with 37 suites, a 93,000-square-foot casino floor, a 16,000-square-foot event space, a 1,500-seat concert venue and at least six restaurants.

The group estimates that 1,200 jobs would be created, and completion would take about three years after approval.

The latest applicants join four other groups in submitting bids. Once officials have selected a preferred casino operator and location, the decision must be approved by referendum before any project can proceed.

Bally’s submitted its proposal for a $650m casino resort earlier this week, with a facility that would span 1.6m square feet and include a casino with 2,500 slot machines and 90 table games. Bally’s said the resort could welcome up to 3.7m visitors each year and create 1,700 full-time jobs in the city.

Cordish Companies, Pamunkey Indian tribe and Urban One have also submitted bids.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam in March 2019 signed into law a bill to permit casinos to open in five cities: Richmond, Bristol, Danville, Norfolk and Portsmouth.

A study published in November 2019 estimated that each project would require initial capital expenditure of between $200m and $300m, with the venues to generate around $970m in net revenue, and $262m in gaming tax revenue by 2025.