Officials To Break Ground On $300M Rivers Portsmouth Casino Resort

Written By Dann Stupp on November 29, 2021 - Last Updated on August 1, 2023
Portsmouth casino groundbreaking

With the upcoming Portsmouth casino groundbreaking, Rivers Portsmouth Casino Resort will take one step closer to completion.

Portsmouth Mayor Shannon Glover recently announced the Portsmouth casino groundbreaking will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 7.

Officials will announce additional event details in the coming days. However, the future Virginia casino is still a go for a 2023 grand opening.

The upcoming groundbreaking follows some other good news for Portsmouth and Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming.

Portsmouth casino groundbreaking follows Richmond no vote

The $300 million Rivers Portsmouth Casino Resort will be located at Victory Boulevard and Cavalier Boulevard off I-264.

In 2020 Portsmouth voters approved a casino referendum to bring the project to life. The resort will ultimately feature a casino, sportsbook, hotel, live event center, conference space, restaurants, bars and various retailers.

With its $300M price tag, Rivers Portsmouth Casino Resort has the smallest budget among the four Virginia casino cities.

Additionally, unlike voter-approved casinos slated for Bristol and Danville, Norfolk will have some nearby competition. As officials prep for a Portsmouth casino groundbreaking, the City of Norfolk and the Pamunkey Indian Tribe are moving forward on the $500 million Pamunkey Casino Resort Norfolk.

The casinos will be located just eight miles apart. However, the Portsmouth and Norfolk casinos recently got some good news.

Earlier this month, Richmond voters nixed a referendum that would’ve brought the $560 million One Casino + Resort to life in the Virginia capital city.

With that project now dead, travelers from north of Virginia have a clear path to Norfolk and Portsmouth – with no other casinos in the way. However, some Richmond-area cities are already jockeying for a potential casino of their own.

When will the Portsmouth casino open?

Despite the upcoming ceremonial groundbreaking, Rush Street officials have been plenty busy on Rivers Portsmouth Casino Resort.

Crews actually began clearing the 50-acre construction site in late summer. Officials are hiring approximately 1,400 temporary construction jobs during this build-out phase. Once completed, they’ll then fill approximately 1,300 full-time jobs for the resort.

Rush Street currently operates casinos in Pennsylvania, Iowa, Illinois and New York, which tally more than $1 billion in annual gaming revenues.

In other words, Rush Street knows how to handle a project of this magnitude.

Recently, they hired gaming veteran Roy Corby as the Portsmouth casino general manager. They also released the latest batch of Rivers Portsmouth Casino Resort renderings.

These were significant steps forward as officials target 2023 for the Rivers Portsmouth Casino Resort opening date. As for when in 2023 it will open, that’s still to be determined. But with the pending Portsmouth casino groundbreaking, officials are moving steadily toward an opening in less than two years.

Photo by Shutterstock / J. McCormick
Dann Stupp Avatar
Written by
Dann Stupp

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

View all posts by Dann Stupp