Rivers Casino Portsmouth opens for business

The $340m venue features an expansive gaming floor with 1,448 slot machines.
The $340m venue features an expansive gaming floor with 1,448 slot machines.

Virginia’s first permanent casino opened its doors on Monday.

US.- -Rivers Casino Portsmouth opened for business yesterday (Monday January 23), making history as the Commonwealth of Virginia’s first full-service permanent casino. Representatives from Rivers Casino Portsmouth, Rush Street Gaming and the City of Portsmouth cut the ceremonial ribbon. 

Rivers Casino Portsmouth is part of a planned Entertainment District along Victory Boulevard, south of I-264. The $340m venue features an expansive gaming floor with 1,448 slot machines, 57 table games, and a poker room with 24 tables. The casino has ten restaurants, including Admiral’s Steak & Seafood, Starbucks, Topgolf Swing Suite, Mian Slice Pizzeria and Crossings Café.

A BetRivers Sportsbook offers a high-definition screen to watch local, regional, and international sporting events, with sportswriter windows and 27 self-serve betting kiosks. The 25,000 square foot Event Center will host multipurpose receptions and the Sound Bar will host local bands and DJs.

Present at the ribbon-cutting ceremony were Roy Corby, general manager of Rivers Casino Portsmouth; mayor of Portsmouth Shannon Glover; Brian Donahue, director of Portsmouth Economic Development; Virginia Lottery executive director Kelly T. Gee and Tim Drehkoff, chief executive officer of Rivers Casino Portsmouth and Rush Street Gaming.

Drehkoff said: “We’re excited to join such a vibrant community and to unveil this beautiful entertainment venue for all to enjoy. We’re grateful to the community and to our Team Members for their support, and we’re looking forward to launching this strong economic engine for the region.”

Corby said: “We’re here to serve the community, our guests, and our Team Members. We’ll accomplish that mission by creating a stellar guest experience and becoming the entertainment destination of choice for Portsmouth, Hampton Roads, and visitors to our area.”

Rivers Casino Portsmouth will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Guests must be over 21 to access the gaming floor. The casino offers approximately 2,000 onsite, security-surveilled parking spots. A permanent City of Portsmouth police substation has been integrated into the facility.

The casino has also announced a donation to three local charity partners from proceeds during gaming floor test events on January 19 and 21. Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, USO Hampton Roads and Central Virginia and Wesley Community Service Center each received $170,000, representing a $510,000 contribution from the casino in total.

The Virginia Lottery Board unanimously approved a casino operator’s licence for Rivers Casino Portsmouth on November 16. It’s the first permanent casino to open in Virginia, although a temporary casino opened in Bristol in July 2022.

Two more casinos, one in Norfolk and one in Danville, are under construction, while there’s discussion on a possible fifth casino in the commonwealth in Richmond or Petersburg.

See also: Caesars begins hiring for Danville casino

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Land-based casinos Rivers Casino Portsmouth