VA Senator Tim Kaine Early-Voted ‘No’ On Richmond Casino Project

Written By Dann Stupp on October 6, 2021Last Updated on March 9, 2022
Tim Kaine

One famous Richmond voter, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, has voted against a proposed Richmond casino project.

According to 8News in Richmond, the former Virginia governor and lieutenant governor voted no on the referendum that would usher in One Casino + Resort.

Kaine, a Democrat and the junior senator of VA, took part in the commonwealth’s early voting to cast his ballot.

Why Tim Kaine voted no to Richmond casino

8News got a statement from the office of Tim Kaine about his vote.

In it, the senator’s team cited a familiar argument against the proposed Richmond resort, which would join four other cities that voted in favor of Virginia casinos during the 2020 election cycle. Richmond, Virginia capital city’s, delayed its vote by a year.

Residents in Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, and Portsmouth all overwhelmingly voted in favor of One Casino + Resort. So, why does Richmond have some vocal opposition, including a no vote from a sitting senator?

In essence, Kaine believes a casino, which would come with a laundry list of pros and cons, isn’t the answer to the city’s problems.

According to Kaine’s office:

“Senator Kaine voted on Monday, September 20. He voted against the casino proposal. He believes there are better ways to enhance economic development in Richmond.”

The question is: Do fellow Richmonders share that sentiment now that Election Day, Nov. 2, is less than a month away? Does the project, which Urban One would develop with Peninsula Pacific Entertainment/Colonial Downs, have the needed support?

Still plenty of One Casino + Resort support

Despite Tim Kaine’s reluctance, One Casino + Resort still has plenty of support elsewhere in the city of 225,000.

If voters approve the proposed $560 million southside resort, Richmond will receive $25.5 million upfront.

After soliciting feedback from residents about how to invest the money, officials sorted through many messages from casino proponents. They want to see those funds used for “school-related projects, road safety, and infrastructure projects, and walking infrastructure projects” in and around the 8th District, where the casino would be located.

These were the specific projects that received the most support:

  1. Emergency communications building
  2. I-95 and Commerce Road/Walmsley interchange improvements
  3. Southside Community Center
  4. James River Branch Trail
  5. Reedy Creek Wetland Park

Advertisements for and against the Richmond casino have bombarded Richmonders in recent weeks. However, despite some vocal opposition, One Casino + Resort still has many notable endorsees, including Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney.

Photo by AP / Erin Schaff
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Dann Stupp

Dann Stupp is a longtime sports journalist who’s written and edited for The Athletic, USA Today, ESPN, and other outlets. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.

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