Portsmouth is among the five Virginia cities eligible to propose a single casino facility under legislation passed in 2020. The law requires that the city has to choose a preferred resort casino operator and location before filing a court order.
Local voters approved a ballot referendum endorsing the Rivers Casino project in November 2020. Other approved casinos are Hard Rock Casino Bristol, Caesars Virginia, and Headwaters Resort & Casino.
The Topping-off Ceremony
The River Casino Portsmouth had a topping-off ceremony on May 10, 2022. It is a casino resort built at I-264 and Victory Boulevard next to Tidewater Community College.
This $300 million resort is set to open in 2023. This is despite the delays of construction materials caused by the pandemic.
The topping-off event consisted of three key celebratory activities. The first activity was raising and bolting a Rivers-yellow steel beam. This marks the completion of the casino’s steel framing and a major construction milestone.
Celebratory music, a speech from Roy Corby, general manager at Rivers Casino Portsmouth, and other dignitaries featured in the beam-raising ceremony. Workers from the Ballard-Yates construction team, the casino’s leadership, and some local politicians all signed the bolt.
A sponsored lunch by the developer and operator, Rush Street Gaming, for the whole crew followed the signing of the bolt. Rush Street is a Chicago-based entertainment and gaming firm that operates several casinos in New York, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.
Casino Opening on Track
The groundbreaking ceremony took place in December 2021, during the pandemic-prone season. This global pandemic resulted in supply chain interruptions, work organization issues, and a shortage of labor. Thus, the top-off ceremony conducted in May 2022 fits in with the casino’s objectives.
The confirmation that everything is going according to schedule adds confidence that the resort will open on time in 2023. An opening date can’t be determined in advance since it is significantly reliant on licensing and regulatory procedures.
A casino, a live entertainment lounge, a 300-room hotel, an event center, and restaurants will all be part of the complex. The gaming floor will contain an unspecified number of slot machines and table games, and a BetsRivers Sportsbook.
Approximately 1,400 individuals are working on the complex to ensure the schedule is kept. Officials plan to have the casino space open-ended and ready to serve clients early next year while the 300-room hotel is built at a later date.
The project is expected to create 1,300 permanent employment positions and produce $16 million in annual tax income for the city. Senator Lucas stated that it took decades to bring the project to Virginia.
Locals are looking forward to seeing the project’s progress. According to Portsmouth’s Mayor, this part of the city will change dramatically in the coming years. Rush Street Gaming set a job fair on May 12, which is the first of several planned monthly events beginning in May and ending in September 2022.
The five job fairs provide an opportunity for local job seekers. Also, it provides a thoughtful strategy for filing openings, particularly those that require training. This will guarantee that new team members are ready to work when the casino opens.