Baltimore developer The Cordish Cos. in the running to bring casino resort to Richmond, Virginia

Baltimore developer The Cordish Cos. has advanced as one of two finalists vying to bring a resort casino to Richmond, Virginia.

Cordish has proposed a $600 million Live! Casino & Hotel Richmond for the city’s Scott’s Addition entertainment district.


Richmond officials, who are trying to boost the city’s convention and tourism business, narrowed bids Wednesday to two, the Cordish proposal and a ONE Casino + Resort, proposed by Silver Spring-based Urban One Inc.

Richmond’s Resort Casino Evaluation Panel said it is no longer considering a casino resort proposed by Bally’s because of concerns about site access and environmental factors.


The Cordish project would include a 300-room hotel with a resort pool, spa and wellness center, a casino with 2,000 state-of-the-art slots and electronic table games and 120 live-action table games and a sportsbook. The project would offer event space, a lawn for outdoor entertainment and 18 restaurants and bars.

Cordish developed and operates Maryland Live! Casino and Hotel in Hanover and numerous Live! brand casinos across the U.S., including Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, both in Florida. Cordish recently opened two flagship properties in Pennsylvania — Live! Casino Pittsburgh and Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia.

Zed Smith, Cordish Cos. chief operating officer, touted the company’s decadeslong track record of building and operating casino and entertainment destinations.

“We are confident Live! Richmond will be as successful as our other market-leading projects throughout the U.S.,” Smith said.

Live! Casino & Hotel Richmond has committed to 50% ownership in the project by local and minority investors, including Pro Football Hall of Famers Bruce Smith, Emmitt Smith III, former NFL player and local resident Billy McMullen, and other prominent business owners and former professional athletes.

Urban One, the former Radio One, is a media conglomerate with interests in radio and television focusing on Black Americans. It is partnered with Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, owner of the Colonial Downs Racetrack near Richmond.

Its $517 million casino, proposed for a site on Richmond’s south side off Interstate 95 near the former Phillip Morris headquarters, would be the nation’s first Black-owned casino resort.