Another Strong Session for Urban One on Wall Street


Urban One, the African American-focused multimedia company that’s growing its casino assets, is seeing renewed interest from investors of late.

It’s the casino business that’s likely exciting them, with the company’s stock rising 36% on Monday in more likely positive reaction to news a Richmond gaming complex is coming to fruition.

On volume of 17.17 million shares against an average of 3.44 million shares, UONE roared ahead by $4.65 per share to close June 7 at $17.71. In early after-hours trading, shares were down by six cents.

That’s the best performance in one year for UONE, which exploded in growth during June 2020 as investors responded to pledges of increased ad budgets for Black-owned media in the wake of social injustice protests tied to high-profile deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcements.

Related stock UONEK was up 18.1% to $6.45.

What’s prompted investors to snap up Urban One shares?

It’s very likely a direct response to the announcement by McDonald’s USA that it is moving forward with what it calls “bold new investments to further reflect its diverse customers, crew members and communities in its marketing.” It’s a four-year effort, and women-owned and LGBTQ+ platforms are also poised to benefit.

That said, the jump is undoubtedly a reaction to the news that a panel of City of Richmond, Va., officials has given an affirmative nod to Urban One’s casino project. This ends a evaluation of various development plans requested by the municipality.

It’s now up to voters to decide on Election Day 2021 in a referendum, pending an OK from Richmond’s City Council.

Specifically, Richmond’s Resort Casino Evaluation Panel recommended that the ONE Casino + Resort — which will have branding in line with Urban One’s “ONE” nomenclature — moves forward as the city’s preferred casino gaming operator at a proposed site in South Richmond. The Evaluation Panel’s recommendation is supported by the city’s Mayor, Levar Stoney.

Commenting on the decision, Urban One CEO Alfred Liggins III said, “ONE is thrilled the Richmond casino selection committee has chosen the best project with the best location and best team to develop a world-class entertainment destination in Richmond’s Southside. Urban One and our diverse group of local investors are fully committed to creating good paying jobs with profit-sharing for employees, pathways to successful careers, and generating significant new tax revenues that can improve Richmond’s schools and fund community programs and infrastructure.”

Stoney formally introduced the casino project May 24 to City Council.

Per legislation approved by the Virginia General Assembly, City Council was asked to petition the court so that a referendum on casino gaming in the City of Richmond can take place during the November 2, 2021 election.