Virginia Casino Industry Just Getting Started As Numbers Boom Nationally

Posted on November 21, 2022

At a time when gaming revenue is at an all-time high nationally, the Virginia casino industry is just getting started.

The American Gaming Association’s Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker reported record numbers in the third quarter. According to the AGA, US commercial gaming came in at about $15.2 billion in revenue during the latest quarter.

Even with a few months still left in the calendar year, the numbers point to 2022 surpassing 2021’s stature as the highest-grossing commercial gaming revenue year to date. So far, 2022’s revenue tracks 14.7% higher than the year before, according to the AGA.

Virginia looks to capitalize on what appears to be a booming industry. The state’s casino gambling sector is relatively new; the Bristol Casino – Future Home of Hard Rock opened in July.

The final casino product is slated for completion in the summer of 2024. Until then, Bristol’s Hard Rock site features more than 870 slots and 21 table games. A Hard Rock Sportsbook and Rock Shop retail store call the location home, too.

Virginia’s gambling industry isn’t planning on stopping at just one casino.

  • Rivers Portsmouth Casino should be the first fully-finished casino to open in the state. The casino could open in the first half of 2023.
  • The Caesars Virginia casino in Danville projects to open in the later months of 2024. They’ll open a temporary casino in the meantime. The full casino will feature 1,300 slots, 85 table games, a Caesars retail sportsbook and more.
  • HeadWaters Resort & Casino in Norfolk is about 18-24 months away. They’ll also open a temporary casino in the meantime.

How the Virginia casino industry figures into the national mix

In just four months of operation, Virginia’s casino revenue remains steady. Bristol’s Hard Rock site topped $14 million in each of the past three months.

Virginia’s venture into the casino landscape comes at a time when commercial gaming continues to expand at a solid rate. The AGA’s latest report shows that commercial gaming industry grew 8.8% year-over-year in Q3. That’s a better rate than the broader U.S. economy (2.6%) during that same time span.

Slots and table games boom nationally, remain steady in Virginia

Over the past three months, Virginia saw a slight decrease in slot revenue at its lone casino. October’s $11.2 million slot revenue number dipped roughly $100,000 from the prior month. That number was essentially a $200,000 dip from August as well.

Table games in Virginia dipped slightly as well, falling from $3 million in September to $2.9 million in October.

Meanwhile, on the national level, land-based slots and table games notched a record revenue of $12.27 billion in the third quarter. That’s a 1.8% jump from 2021’s third quarter. Year-to-date revenue in that area sits at $35.94 billion, which equates to an 8.1% jump year-over-year.

Sports betting continues to climb in Virginia as revenue soars across the country

Virginia’s sports betting enjoyed yet another solid start to the fall season, collecting $411.3 million in handle for September.

  • That mark was a 45% jump from the month prior and a 40% leap from September 2021.
  • Virginia sportsbooks ended up collecting $48.4 million in revenue that month as well.
  • That comes at a time when the industry set a quarterly revenue record of $1.68 billion, which stands as a whopping 80.6% jump year-over-year.

Through the first nine months of the calendar year, Virginia enjoyed a sports betting handle of $3.3 billion. With industry-leading sportsbooks like DraftKings, Caesars, BetMGM and FanDuel among the state’s 13 existing options, there’s plenty of opportunities for bettors to wager. In turn, Virginia sportsbooks collected about $357 million in revenue through September, which equals a 13% hold.

On the national level, sports betting boasts $4.78 billion in revenue through September. At this same point in 2021, that mark stood at $4.34 billion.

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Adam Hensley

Adam Hensley is a journalist from Des Moines, Iowa, who currently works for the USA Today Network. His byline has appeared in the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated and sites within the USA Today Network. Hensley graduated from the University of Iowa in 2019 and spent his college career working for the Daily Iowan’s sports department, both as an editor and reporter.

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