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Why Urban One's Stock Crashed by 39% Today

By Rich Duprey – Nov 3, 2021 at 1:32PM

Key Points

  • The media company was going to open an integrated resort and casino in Richmond, Virginia.
  • Urban One was the only black-owned company to participate in the city's bid process.
  • Although the referendum is technically still too close to call, the proposition to allow the casino development to proceed appears to have failed.

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Voters seem to have handed the media company a major defeat at the polls.

What happened

Shares of Urban One (UONEK -0.78%) had plunged by 39% as of 1:19 p.m. Wednesday as it appeared voters in Richmond, Virginia, had on Tuesday rejected the media company's proposal to develop the ONE Casino & Resort in the city.

Urban One wants to build an integrated resort and casino in Richmond featuring a hotel, spa, restaurants, an event center, and a 100,000-square-foot casino, and while gaming officials had accepted the proposal earlier this year, voters had the final say on the matter.

Planned resort and casino in Richmond, Virginia

Image source: Urban One.

Based on the latest numbers from the polls, it appears they have rejected it by a 3% margin. However, there are about 2,900 mail-in and provisional ballots still to be counted, and given that the current margin is a bit smaller than that, this result is still too close to call.

So what

Originally, six bids were submitted for the right to Richmond's sole gaming license; officials chose Urban One's plan for an integrated resort that would feature some 2,000 slot machines, 110 table games, and a sportsbook.

The media company's stock, which had been trading around $2 a share before officials picked its bid, closed on Tuesday above $7 a share. In the wake of its setback at the polls, Urban One's stock had plummeted to around $4.50 per share as of early afternoon Wednesday.

Now what

It's a major setback for the entertainment company, obviously. Last year, Virginia had authorized five cities across the commonwealth to each open one casino within their borders. Urban One was the only black-owned company that participated in the casino development proposal. Now, it looks as though the project has been defeated. 

Rich Duprey has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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