Grand Opening For Virginia’s Rivers Casino Portsmouth Delayed

Written By Adam Hensley on January 12, 2023
Rivers Casino Portsmouth Exterior

Virginia residents have to wait a bit longer to try out Rivers Casino Portsmouth.

Organizers pushed the grand opening to 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 23. The ceremony was originally scheduled for Sunday.

The casino just released an update about the date change. Rivers Casino Portsmouth needed a little more time to test and verify its new gaming equipment.

The new grand opening ceremony invitations will be sent to the previous guest list with the revised date and time.

“Providing a superior guest experience is a top priority for Rivers Casino Portsmouth,” the casino said in a release. “Our intention is to be the entertainment destination of choice for Hampton Roads. And, we’ll settle for nothing less. We apologize for any inconvenience and look forward to welcoming our guests very soon.”

Rivers Casino Portsmouth’s charity night rescheduled, too

The casino planned a charity night a few days before the original grand opening. Those events have a new date too.

Instead of Tuesday and Thursday of this week, the new charity dates are a week from now: Jan. 19 and Jan. 21.

And — just as with the grand opening’s postponement — those who RSVPed to the charity nights will receive new invitations with updated timing.

What was the original plan for the Rivers Casino?

The casino originally eyed Jan. 15 as a grand opening date as part of a planned entertainment district along Victory Blvd.

Work on the casino’s location began in late 2021. Soon after, the Virginia Lottery Board unanimously approved the operator’s license. Casino development secured the green light in 2020.

The latest hurdle came in November, when the board approved Rivers Casino’s second license with a 7-0 vote.

“While not all Virginians will choose to visit these facilities, all of our citizens need to be confident that they are regulated with the very highest standards,” chairman Ferhan Hamid said at the time of the vote.

The Rivers Casino will showcase the latest gambling technology and hospitality

Such as with all new casinos that pop up, Rivers Casino Portsmouth will feature all the bells and whistles – $340 million worth, to be exact.

The gaming floor will host 1,448 slot machines in addition to 57 table games. Poker players will find 24 tables inside a poker-specific room, too.

Ten restaurants and bars will call the casino home as well. Highlights include the Admiral’s Steak and Seafood, Crossings Café and Mian. Pizza and coffee options will be available as well.

Rivers Casino Portsmouth will host a BetRivers sportsbook as well, which will broadcast local, regional and international sports on some of the largest screens in the area. And overlooking the sportsbook will be a Topgolf Swing Suites, where patrons can play a variety of golf simulation games with a lounge experience.

In addition to all this, the casino’s location will also feature a 25,000-foot event center, perfect for weddings, galas, conventions and just about everything under the sun. There will be a hotel, too.

More Virginia casinos are on the way

Despite being the second casino to gain a license in Virginia, Rivers Casino Portsmouth will be the state’s first full-service permanent facility.

Two other casinos are gearing up for their permanent openings. Bristol Casino – Future Home of Hard Rock stands as the state’s lone operating casino. Despite being a temporary location, the casino offers 870 slots, 21 tables and a sportsbook at its 30,000-foot location, as well as food options. In November, Bristol Casino – Future Home of Hard Rock generated $12.65 million in revenue.

The Bristol casino will fully open in the spring of 2024. Two other temporary casinos will open in Danville and Norfolk, as well.

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Adam Hensley

Adam Hensley is a journalist from Des Moines, Iowa. His byline has appeared in the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated and sites within the USA Today Network. Hensley graduated from the University of Iowa in 2019 and spent his college career working for the Daily Iowan’s sports department, both as an editor and reporter.

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