The latest referendum for the Richmond casino project was a resounding failure, with nearly 58% of voters rejecting the $562 million investment known as the Richmond Grand Resort & Casino. This defeat comes on the heels of another referendum loss in Manassas Park, where residents voted against a referendum that would have allowed Churchill Downs to build Rosie’s Gaming Emporium. The decision was especially surprising given the massive financial support from corporate sponsors involved in the casino project. Churchill Downs and Urban One poured over $10 million into advertising and get-out-the-vote efforts, including a free concert and subsidized food truck meals for voters. However, controversy has still dogged the pro-casino side, with reports of racially insensitive and antisemitic speech on Richmond radio stations owned by Urban One. The gap between “yes” and “no” voters was much wider than in 2021, with 45,612 residents voting against the casino and 32,427 voting in favor. Despite support from prominent figures like Richmond mayor Levar Stoney, the casino project ultimately failed to win over the public. The proposed casino, which would include a 250-room hotel, concert space, and sound stage for Urban One productions, was intended to create 1,300 permanent jobs and generate $30 million in annual tax revenue. However, opponents such as NewMarket Chairman CEO Thomas E. Gottwald and Paul Goldman mounted a campaign with a budget just under $200,000, using yard signs, letters, and a plane towing a banner over the Richmond Folk Festival to make their voices heard. Few reputable organizations and city leaders have publicly supported the casino project, with groups like the Metropolitan Business League, the Richmond NAACP, and some local union chapters joining the “pro-casino” side in an effort to create jobs that they claim would pay an average of $55,000 annually. But despite their best efforts, the pro-casino campaign was ultimately unable to overcome the widespread opposition to the casino project.