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Election Day Explainer: Why Richmond Casino, NJ Sports Betting Questions Failed

Election Day 2021 featured two major questions that stood to impact the US gaming industry. But each ballot referendum was rejected by voters, which begs the question, “Why?”

While doesn’t have all the answers, we dug deep to better understand why voters in Richmond rejected the $565 million ONE Casino + Resort proposal for the Virginia capital, and why New Jerseyans opted not to further expand sports betting.

Richmonders Reject ONE Casino + Resort

Virginia legalized commercial gambling last year by way of a bill designed to spur economic activity in distressed cities. Five cities qualified to ask constituents whether they support using a commercial casino resort as a means to bring their town’s new jobs and generate additional tax revenue.

Norfolk, Portsmouth, Bristol, and Danville each passed local casino referendums during the 2020 election. And all four cities did so convincingly.

Richmond opted to wait a year because of considerable interest from casino companies.


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