Rivers Casino Portsmouth in Virginia’s Hampton Roads region says construction of the $300 million resort remains on schedule despite supply chain disruptions and labor shortages caused by the recent pandemic.
Today, a topping-off ceremony was held at the project site, which is located just south of Interstate 264 between McClean Street and Victory Boulevard. The casino is being built adjacent to Tidewater Community College’s Portsmouth campus.
A Rivers-yellow steel beam signed by casino executives and project managers was raised today. The final beam signifies a significant construction milestone and comes just five months after ground was broken in December.
We began moving dirt and setting the stage less than a year ago, and we are making great progress,” said Justin Ballard of S.B. Ballard Construction Company. “Despite supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic, we are still on track to complete this project in early 2023.”
Portsmouth is one of five cities in Virginia that qualified under 2020 legislation to consider a single casino development. Local voters in Portsmouth passed a ballot referendum approving the Rivers Casino project during that November’s election.
Portsmouth residents are among four Virginia cities to sign off on a casino. Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming, which operates Rivers casinos in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and New York, is bringing its marquee casino brand to Hampton Roads.
Of the four casinos moving forward, Rivers Casino Portsmouth is pacing to be the first to open its permanent casino space. While Hard Rock Bristol recently received the state’s first commercial gaming license, a historic first in the commonwealth, the casino permit is to allow the Bristol property to open a temporary gaming venue. Hard Rock Bristol isn’t expected to complete its full $400 million resort destination until 2025.
Caesars Virginia in Danville announced last week that its initially planned 2023 opening is being pushed back to 2024. Caesars cited COVID-19 impediments for the pushback.
A $500 million casino in Norfolk backed by billionaire Jon Yarbrough is also being built adjacent to the city’s minor league baseball stadium. Dubbed HeadWaters Resort & Casino because of the project’s association with the nearby Pamunkey Indian Tribe, the casino isn’t slated to open until late 2024.
Rivers Portsmouth Opening Date
Rivers Portsmouth officials plan to have the casino space finished and ready for its first guests early next year. The resort’s planned 300-room hotel will be built at a later date.
The exact opening of the casino will be dependent on final licensing and regulatory approvals from the state. In the meantime, Rush Street says it’s embarking on hiring around 1,300 permanent workers to operate the facility.
Rush Street will hold a job fair this Thursday, May 12, at Tidewater’s Portsmouth campus. Similar job fairs will be held once a month through September.
The Rivers Casino Portsmouth gaming floor will accommodate an unspecified number of slot machines and table games, plus a BetRivers Sportsbook.
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