Hard Rock International (HRI) has signed a deal that allows it to operate a gaming venue in Virginia if the legislators give them the authorization to do so within the borders of the state. The casino operator and hospitality giant made an announcement on Monday that the official partnership deal with Bristol Resort and Casino had been signed.
The venue, which is run by popular businessmen from Virginia — Clyde Stacy and Jim McGlothlin — has been built instead of an old and shuttered mall, which is simply called Bristol Mall.
Instead of an old building, there is now a great land-based casino that the businessmen have been working on since mid-2018. Their latest move was to sign a deal with a big casino operator and give them permission to operate their venue as well. Hard Rock International turned out to be the right choice, and the casino will be rebranded to Hard Rock Casino Bristol.
Virginia is one of those US states that still haven’t fully authorized gambling and commercial casinos. However, the state made a step forward by allowing “historical” or “instant” racing machines to be allowed in racetracks that are operated by Colonial Dawns.
These machines basically mimic racing but are essentially slot machines that are allowed by the Virginia Racing Commission.
A couple of months ago, the lawmakers in Virginia also approved a bill that will focus on the potential impact, both social and fiscal, with the introduction of five land-based casinos in cities that are located in the state, with one of them being Bristol. The bill also resulted in the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee taking part and researching the potential of the five casinos.
The results were pretty good for the state, as they came to a conclusion that the five gaming venues could bring up to $262 million to the state in annual tax if the gaming revenue is taxed at 27 percent. In order to do this, all five casinos need to be open in the five cities in Virginia.
However, there’s more to the research that could actually further affect the casino expansion strategy of the states. Namely, the researchers found out that the tax income from casinos could increase for an additional $155 million annually if the legislators decide to allow the construction of a sixth casino that would be located in Northern Virginia.
Naturally, the committee did not leave out the research pertaining to online gambling and sports betting — two activities that have been on the rise recently.
Of course, the auditors pointed out that the casino authorization could have a couple of downsides as well. Namely, if that happens, Colonial Down’s racing tracks (and casino games that are part of it) are going to be the “biggest losers,” as they would suffer $40 million annually.
Moreover, their plans to improve and boost live racing may go awry once the casinos open their doors in Virginia. Moreover, Virginia has a state lottery, which could also see its annual revenue decline by approximately 3.6 percent if the casinos open.
Finally, the economic impact on individual cities in Virginia where casinos are going to operate is going to be mildly positive, as it would create a lot of jobs. On the other hand, the overall wages for those jobs would be slightly below the average wage of local medians.
Hard Rock International has been doing pretty well lately. The Seminole Tribe-run operator is in the state of expansion as it recently launched a brand new venue in Atlantic City. Moreover, HRI is also very present internationally and is currently one of the two main competitors for a huge project in Greece for the biggest European resort.