PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — With a little over a month left until it opens to the public, Rivers Casino Portsmouth gave a sneak peek at what to expect from Virginia’s first full-service casino.
The $340 million gaming and entertainment venue will open its doors to the public on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023, at 3 p.m. The casino is part of a planned Entertainment District along Victory Boulevard — just south of I-264. Rush Street Gaming officials broke ground for the casino back in December 2021.
General Manager Roy Corby says the reality of the grand opening is starting to set in.
“It’s surreal that we’re finally getting into a mode of, ‘OK let’s actually operate a casino,'” he said.
The casino will be the latest addition to Rush Street Gaming, one of the fastest-growing casino and entertainment companies in the country which currently operates similar facilities in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Des Plaines, Illinois and Upstate New York.
Tuesday’s event featured a “first-look” front-of-the-house walking tour of the gaming floor, the event center, and other amenities at the facility. Construction is still ongoing but was paused temporarily during the tour.
Rivers Casino Portsmouth, open 24/7, will feature a gaming floor with 1,448 slot machines, 57 table games, and 24 poker tables in a dedicated poker room. Additionally, the facility will have 10 new restaurants and bars all under one roof, including high-end dining at Admiral’s Steak and Seafood, casual dining at Crossings Café and Asian cuisine at Mian; plus, Slice Pizzeria, Starbucks and more.
Also attached to the building will be a Portsmouth Police substation. Corby says it’s one of many ways casino developers incorporated to make sure that guests feel safe while there.
“We take security seriously. I mean, people choose a casino based of several factors and security is one of the top three. So, there’s nothing more important to us than our guests feeling welcome and safe when they come in here,” Corby said.
The casino is estimated to generate an estimated $16.3 million in new annual tax revenue for Portsmouth.
Part of the success will lie with attracting guests from outside of Hampton Roads, in order to bring in new revenue from outside of the area.
“A majority of your guests are going to come from within a 60-mile ring, with an overwhelming majority coming from within 10 miles. But our marketing plan will encompass the whole state so they’ll know that they’re here,” Corby said.
The casino is expected to employ 1,300 team members and will continue to fill positions in the weeks leading up to the opening. Visit riverscasino.com for a list of current openings.