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Golden Nugget Partner City Litigation Race at Richmond Casino

One of the rejected bidders in Richmond's casino race is suing the city of Virginia over the selection process for the preferred developer and operator of a Las Vegas-style casino.

Richmond received six bids during the solicitation process and culled half of them at the end of March.

Casino operator Golden Nugget, a $ 400 million hotels and casinos located approximately six miles from downtown Richmond . The proposal was one of three rejected by the city in late March.

Dennis Cotto, a Northern Virginia attorney and partner and principal of Bet on Gaming Holdings LLC, now wants to sue the city, questioning the choice process, and most importantly the Richmond leaders' insistence that Virginia and city-buying laws do not apply in this case.

Mr. Cotto argues that Richmond City Council does not have the authority to ignore government procurement laws that would give his company and Golden Nugget an administrative process. The process in question to seek redress or appeal for removal from the race. would allow.

The attorney told local media that he filed a complaint with the Virginia Lottery, but it didn't work because the government agency refused to intervene. According to Lottery, the state's recently amended casino law gives Richmond full control over its choice of a preferred casino developer and operator.

Lawyer Ready to Start Legal Battle Over Casino Selection Process

Last month, Mr. Cotto also turned to Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring to investigate the matter, but hasn't heard from him since. Lawyer, your only option left to him to sue He said that the matter was to be decided in court. He plans to file his legal complaint in Richmond Circuit Court in May.

A legal move could potentially disrupt the casino selection process and the race could now fall to just two competitors – The Cordish Companies of Baltimore's $ 600 million Live! Casino & Hotel Richmond plan and Urban One and Colonial Downs' $ 517 million ONE Casino + Resort complex . Late last month, Richmond City Council overturned a $600 million hotel and casino resort plan by Bally's Corporation.

Mr. Cotto explained that he had previously lost bids, but always received a briefing. In this case, it will not be informed has been told. The Northern Virginia attorney believes he has a strong case, citing state procurement regulations and stating that Richmond ignored those regulations and therefore denied all rejected bidders the right to legal action.

With only two companies in contention, the city's internal judging panel will now recommend a finalist. This is expected to happen in May. The City Council will then need to approve the proposed bidder.

The selected bid is then awarded by the Virginia Lottery for a 45-day period. At the end of the city, the selected developer and project are for voter approval. 2 November on the ballot You will need to get a court order to get it. Richmond residents will have the final say on this.

However, pending lawsuits could prevent the court from ordering a citywide casino referendum.

Source: Rejected casino group threatens legal challenge to city election process, Richmond Free Press, May 6, 2021