Rivers Casino Grand Opening Delayed For Short Time

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on January 10, 2023
virginia gambling rivers portsmouth rewards ceremony

For the past few months, those looking to get in on some casino gaming in the state of Virginia have had just one choice. That is set to change soon, just not as soon as originally intended.

Rivers Casino Portsmouth is pushing back its grand opening. The new Virginia casino was previously scheduled to open Sunday, Jan. 15. Instead, the opening date will move to Monday, Jan. 23, at 10 a.m.

More testing needed at Rivers Portsmouth

In a press release, the casino said it needed additional time to “test and verify” new gaming equipment. 

“Providing a superior guest experience is a top priority for Rivers Casino Portsmouth. 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.”

In addition to new ceremony invitations being sent out, Rivers said it would notify those who responded to the Rush Rewards charity event about the new date and time. 

The charity night was scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 10 and Thursday, Jan. 12. Rivers will now host the event on Thursday, Jan. 19, and Saturday, Jan. 21. 

Almost time for Virginia’s newest attraction

In November, Rivers Casino Portsmouth became the second operator to earn a VA casino license, following Hard Rock Bristol. 

In total, Virginia will eventually have five new casinos open across the state.

  • Bristol
  • Danville
  • Norfolk
  • Portsmouth
  • Richmond or Petersburg 

Following the state Lottery’s unanimous 7-0 vote, Board Chairman Ferhan Hamid said:

“The gaming landscape in Virginia continues to evolve, and the Lottery Board is committed to ensuring that casinos in the Commonwealth are operated responsibly, fairly and with the utmost integrity. 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.”

Construction of the $300 million Portsmouth casino began in early 2022. Early estimates show Rivers will pay over $16 million a year in taxes to the City of Portsmouth. Once finished, this will be Rivers’ fifth full-service casino. 

Other Rivers locations include:

  • Illinois
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • Ontario
Photo by Playin USA
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for Playin USA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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