Construction for the Rivers Casino Portsmouth hit a new milestone this month. After breaking ground in December, the project has finally celebrated the raising of its final steel beam.
The $300 million resort is officially set to open in early 2023.
Rivers Casino Portsmouth remains on schedule
Construction crews commemorated the occasion with a traditional topping-off ceremony. The event was marked by the raising of a final Rivers-yellow beam signed by the Ballard-Yates construction teams, casino leaders and local officials.
Justin Ballard of S.B. Ballard Construction Company said the company remains on track to complete the first of several Virginia casinos by its target date in early-2023, despite the pandemic’s effect on supply chains and labor shortages.
“We began moving dirt and setting the stage less than a year ago, and we are making great progress.”
Workers began clearing the land for the project in Aug. 2021 while waiting for licensing from the Virginia Lottery. Crews then broke ground this past December.
The Rivers Casino Portsmouth project sits at the intersection of Victory Boulevard and Freedom Avenue and will ultimately feature a:
- event center
- live entertainment lounge
- BetRivers Sportsbook
Job fairs scheduled for the coming months
Rivers Casino Portsmouth will likely generate nearly $16 million in tax revenue for the city as well as create 1,300 permanent jobs. The casino held an initial job fair on May 12, where it began accepting applications for table game positions.
Much like the first fair, the next one will also take place at the Tidewater Community College Portsmouth campus. Though, it will instead focus on hospitality positions such as servers, bartenders and cooks.
The four scheduled fairs in July, August and September will address the casino’s remaining position openings. Interested applicants can learn more and register on the casino’s website.
One of four casinos coming to Virginia
Portsmouth isn’t the only Virginia city entertaining the idea of casinos.
In 2021, Urban One won a bid to build a casino resort in Richmond. Officials estimated that the city’s yearly tax share would be between $19 million and $22 million for the one-million-square-foot property, but Richmond voters cast their ballots against the measure in November of 2021.
In January of this year, however, city council members passed a resolution and two ordinances in favor of reviving the Urban One’s project. The votes also advanced the process of putting a casino proposal back on the ballot.
According to Resolution 2022-R003, the new casino would exist at 2001 Walmsley Blvd. and 4700 Trenton Ave, and RVA Entertainment Holdings, LLC would be the city’s top gaming operator.
While Richmond voters rejected a casino in their city, residents in Norfolk, Danville and Bristol all approved measures of their own.
Hard Rock International will be the first to open a temporary location — Hard Rock & Hotel Casino Bristol — on July 8. The 30,000-square-foot temporary space will create 600 jobs and offer nearly 900 gaming slots along with 20 tables.
Construction for the permanent Bristol casino is expected to take somewhere between 18 months to two years to complete.