Casino events

Portsmouth Casino opens in January

PORTSMOUTH – Hampton Roads’ first casino will open its doors to residents early next year.

Rivers Casino Portsmouth is scheduled to open January 15 at 3 p.m. It will operate 24 hours a day all year round.

The $340 million gaming and entertainment venue is part of Portsmouth’s planned new entertainment district along Victory Boulevard near the new Missy Elliott Boulevard. Last week, the Virginia Lottery Board granted the casino a $15 million operating license.

The project moved quickly, getting the green light in 2020 following a successful referendum. Construction began in December 2021.

Rivers Casino Portsmouth general manager Roy Corby told The Virginian-Pilot that the entire casino, an events center and all restaurants and amenities will be complete by the time it opens. He said it would be a great day for the whole region.

“We went from vanguard to groundbreaking in about 13 months,” Corby said in an emailed statement. “We are grateful to the talented men and women who have worked hard to build this magnificent place from the ground up.”

The casino will offer 10 restaurants and bars serving a variety of cuisines such as steaks, seafood, pizza, burgers, coffee and Asian dishes. For entertainment, a venue called The Sound Bar will include a stage and lounge area where local bands and DJs, for example, can perform.

Facilities include a Topgolf virtual golf lounge and BetRivers Sportsbook, where customers can watch and bet on sporting events. Rivers Casino Portsmouth’s Rush Rewards Players Club, a loyalty program which rewards players, is open to customers who can pre-register on riverscasinoportsmouth.com.

The casino will have 1,448 slot machines, 57 table games, 24 poker tables and approximately 2,000 parking spaces. The event center will measure 25,000 square feet and will include a large multi-purpose hall and reception area. For security, the casino will be equipped with surveillance cameras, security patrols, additional lighting, identification scanners and metal detectors.

About $16 million in annual tax revenue is projected for the city. The casino plans to create around 1,300 permanent jobs.

Natalie Anderson, 757-732-1133, natalie.anderson@virginiamedia.com