Portsmouth Casino Developer Offers 5% Minority Ownership Stake

Written By Dann Stupp on September 4, 2020 - Last Updated on August 2, 2023

A Portsmouth casino developer is looking to expand the project’s ownership group.

Rush Street Gaming is the Rivers Casino Portsmouth development partner. The company is offering a 5% minority ownership stake in the project.

Rush operates Rivers-branded casinos and the online sports betting brand BetRivers. The company unveiled the Portsmouth casino plans last month.

Officials at Rush Street will offer 5% or $5 million ownership (whichever is greater) in the planned $300 million project. Minority-owned businesses and private investors are welcome to apply.

The Virginia General Assembly voted to legalize Virginia casinos in April. As a result, Portsmouth is now one of five cities in the commonwealth eligible for a casino in Virginia. However, each must first pass a successful voter referendum.

Potential Portsmouth casino minority partners

The Virginia Lottery, which regulates gaming in the Old Dominion State, will work with the Portsmouth Economic Development Authority to oversee the process.

Rush Street won’t approve public-sector employees, elected officials or their immediate family members as investors or owners. Above all else, that restriction will help avoid a conflict of interest, according to the Portsmouth casino developer.

Interested parties can email [email protected].

Portsmouth EDA Chairman Ray A. Smith Sr. lauded Rush Street Gaming’s decision:

“Rush Street has a track record of including minority participation in their developments. In both the development agreement with the Portsmouth EDA and the Lottery Board pre-certification proposal, minority participation in ownership, contracting and employment was included in their plan. Rush Street Gaming is moving forward with the process in an open and transparent manner, ensuring the public trust, and I applaud them for that.”

About the Danville casino

The Portsmouth City Council approved Rush Street Gaming as its preferred gaming operator in May, and the Portsmouth EDA subsequently checked off on the development agreement.

The casino resort will be situated along I-264 on the Elizabeth River in the southeast Virginia city. The 50-acre casino site sits at Victory Boulevard and Cavalier Boulevard. Rush Street Gaming has agreed to pay the city at least $10 million to acquire the site.

The Portsmouth casino will span 400,000 square feet with all of the usual trappings. They include table games, slot machines, a poker room and sportsbook. Additionally, the resort will also feature a hotel, conference space, bars, restaurants and other entertainment options.

The project will create 2,000 permanent jobs in the Hampton Roads region. Additionally, it will create 1,400 temporary construction jobs.

Once fully operational, the five Virginia casinos are expected to generate annual revenue of more than $1 billion.

Photo by Getty Images Stock
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Dann Stupp

Dann Stupp is a longtime sports journalist who’s written and edited for The Athletic, USA Today, ESPN, MLB.com and other outlets. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.

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