Petersburg’s new delegate Kim Taylor, R-Dinwiddie, has introduced the House version of Petersburg gambling referendum legislation after voters in Richmond, , rejected the project. The would also bar Richmond from re-voting on the matter for the next five years.

Taylor dropped House Bill 1134 on Thursday afternoon, echoing sentiments from senator Joe Morrisey that Richmond voters already “had their chance,” reports The Progress Index. The bill mirrors its Senate companion and calls a possible Petersburg casino “a great opportunity” to bring jobs and boost the city’s economic base.

“Richmond had more than ample opportunity to vote on this,” Taylor said on Thursday, according to the cited news source. “Now it’s time for Petersburg to have that same opportunity,” she added, dismissing Richmond’s push for a second chance.

Taylor’s bill is worded exactly like the one introduced on Tuesday by Morrissey, including the provision barring Richmond from holding a second referendum. The bill has been reported by Richmond Times-Dispatch as putting the senator at odds with Richmond 8th District Councilwoman Reva Trammell, who is sponsoring local legislation to have Richmond vote again on whether to permit the One Casino and Resort project voters rejected in November.

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Rendering for the rejected Urban One project in Richmond.

Both Morrissey and Taylor’s bills add Petersburg to the list of host cities for future casinos, to be located in southwest, central and Tidewater . While voters in chosen cities, including Bristol, Danville, Portsmouth and Norfolk, passed referendums in 2020 allowing gambling developments, Richmond, the fifth city originally chosen, rejected the proposition. The proposal fell through 49% to 51%, by about 1,500 votes.

Morrissey, who had supported the casino project, said that allowing Richmond to vote again would be undemocratic and redundant, Richmond Times-Dispatch further reports, as politicians and business figures would be allowed to continue campaigning on an issue that’s been otherwise settled. His legislation would not allow a revote until at least 2026.

Councilor Reva Trammell, in whose district the $571 million One Hotel and Casino complex would have been located, challenged Morrissey’s claim that a second Richmond referendum would be undemocratic. She cited how close the result was and comments she’s heard from constituents since the election.

Trammell has introduced a local ordinance seeking to put the issue back before city voters this November, reports The Progress Index, and has also vowed to fight passage of the Petersburg casino bill. “I’m doing what my people have asked me to do,” she said.

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senator Joe Morrisey.

Asked whether she expected the Richmond clause to hamper the bill’s chances of passage, delegate Taylor said no, claiming other area representatives supported it. “The consensus is positive,” she stated.

Following rejection in Richmond, and the push to bring the venue to Petersburg, casino owners and developers visited the city to scout out locations. Urban One, which pitched the casino in Richmond, is reportedly among them, and could potentially present the project in Petersburg as well.

As part of its Richmond proposal, Urban One promised a $25 million investment to the city as a kind of down payment. Morrissey said in November that, should this happen in Petersburg as well, it would help the city improve its aging infrastructure. Petersburg Mayor Sam Parham has gone on record supporting the proposal, as it would help “address some immediate needs.”

locations within Petersburg include the Wagner Road area off Interstate 95, on the south side of the city, which has been confirmed by Morrissey as a possible site. It would be about 70-80 acres of land, with visibility from Interstate 95.

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