Turn Down the Casino, Turn Up for The Free Food!


Axios dropped some news this morning about the city’s high-stakes casino referendum. Wondering what’s lighting a fire under voters this election season? Well, the pro-casino team is pulling out all the stops to boost turnout, offering free lunches at polling stations. Though they’re offering Ubers to their supporters, don’t let that deter you. Your vote counts!

Why Should You Care?

With a whopping $8 million-plus campaign budget, it’s safe to say they’re going big or going home. This is a level of spending Richmond hasn’t seen in a local referendum before, with each vote potentially costing over a hundred bucks.

Here’s How It’s Going Down

Even though the pro-casino canvassers are sending Ubers to get their supporters to the polls, don’t sweat it. What you can partake in is the awesome food that’s up for grabs. Yesterday, Hawk’s BBQ was there at Hickory Hill Community Center serving up pork sandwiches, fried fish, and jumbo kielbasas, all complete with a drink and a side. And guess what? No one’s checking how you voted to hand you that free meal ticket.

What’s The Word?

According to Michael Kelly, a spokesperson for the referendum campaign, they’re just trying to celebrate early voting. The freebies are their way to get you in the mood—no different than handing out water and snacks, they say.

What’s The Big Picture?

Look, the pro-casino PAC has been flexing its financial muscles, spending $6 million in just the last two months. This includes big bucks for ads and an army of 75 canvassers. But here’s the thing—the “No Casino” camp is running on fumes, with only $259,000 in contributions and a paltry $24,000 in cash on hand. If you would like to donate: buy a shirt HERE

So, “No Casino” voters, here’s your shot. Show up, get your free lunch, and vote your conscience. In an election this uneven, every vote is a game-changer. Why not get a meal out of it?


Office of Elections: 2134 West Laburnum Avenue Richmond, VA 23227

September 22nd – November 4th, 2023
9 AM – 4 PM (Monday – Friday)
9 AM – 5 PM (Saturday October 28th, 2023)
9 AM – 5 PM (Saturday November 4th, 2023)

City Hall: 900 East Broad Street Richmond, VA 23219

September 22nd – November 4th, 2023
9 AM – 4 PM (Monday – Friday)
9 AM – 5 PM (Saturday October 28th, 2023)
9 AM – 5 PM (Saturday November 4th, 2023)

Hickory Hill Community Center: 3000 East Belt Blvd Richmond, VA 23234 
September 22nd – November 4th, 2023
9 AM – 4 PM (Monday – Friday)
9 AM – 5 PM (Saturday October 28th, 2023)
9 AM – 5 PM (Saturday November 4th, 2023)

RVA Staff

RVA Staff

Since 2005, the dedicated team at RVA Magazine, known as RVA Staff, has been delivering the cultural news that matters in Richmond, VA. This talented group of professionals is committed to keeping you informed about the events and happenings in the city.

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