Virginia is one of the latest states to legalize sports betting, but the state is currently without any locations to take bets. State lawmakers awarded a sports betting license to five financially impacted cities located in the state, and each city is allowed to choose a sports betting operator.
Portsmouth, Va., was one of the cities that was chosen to receive a sports betting license, and they have been looking for a partner to build and operate a new casino. Earlier this week, Portsmouth officials announced that they had selected Rush Street Gaming as their partner.
Rush Street Gaming is based out of Chicago, and they will now be in charge of building, owning, and operating a casino in Portsmouth. Rush Street has four casinos in the United States, and all of them are under the name Rivers Casino.
The four locations where Rush Street Gaming currently has a presence are, Des Plaines, Ill., Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Schenectady, NY. Portsmouth will be their fifth location, assuming that local residents approve a ballot referendum that will be voted on this November.
Rush Street Gaming will be required to invest at least $300 million per state gaming regulations. The company has also agreed to pay the city more than $10 million to purchase the land where it intends to build the casino.
Rush Street Gaming will be taking over a property just off of Interstate 264. The property is located at the corner of Cavalier Boulevard and Victory Boulevard.
Local and independent financial forecasters estimate that the new casino will bring in more than $16 million in taxes for the city of Portsmouth. Over $200 million per year will be pumped into the local economy, which provides plenty of relief for the city.
Rush Street Gaming will still be working on submitting the finished proposal, but the site is expected to include a casino, hotel, convention center, and numerous restaurants. Rivers Casino Portsmouth will be the official name of the new project.
Portsmouth had an unemployment rate of over five percent in 2018, as well as having a poverty rate of over 20 percent in 2017. The building of the new casino should fix both of these problems.
Rush Street Gaming expects that the project will produce more than 1,400 construction jobs as well as providing over 1,300 new full-time positions at the casino.
Norfolk Also Receiving a Casino
Portsmouth and Norfolk are separated by the Elizabeth River, and both locations will be building new casinos in the near future. The city of Norfolk recently reached an agreement with the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, which will allow the tribe to own and operate a casino.
Norfolk and the Pamunkey Indian Tribe have had a long-standing relationship, and it was an easy decision to award the bid to the tribe. Even though the Pamunkey Tribe will be operating the casino, it will be operated as a commercial property rather than a tribal casino.
The Pamunkey Tribe plans on a $500 million resort that will feature a hotel with over 300 rooms. The new resort will be built near the Harbor Park baseball stadium, which will put the casino in close proximity to Rivers Casino Portsmouth.
Bristol, Danville, and Richmond are the other cities in Virginia that met the requirements for a new casino project. Each city can create its own partnerships, but all five cities must still receive approval from local voters in November before any construction can begin.