Rivers Portsmouth Pays $275,000 Fine For Alleged Casino Violations

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on May 8, 2023
Rivers Portsmouth Casino Pays Fine

Rivers Casino Portsmouth becomes the first Virginia casino to pay a fine for alleged casino violations.

Rivers, owned and operated by Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming, agreed to pay $275,000 to the Virginia Lottery for alleged violations. The casino operator chose to settle instead of a possibly more costly administrative hearing. 

Rivers Casino settles casino violations

According to WVEC-TV Norfolk, Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kelly Gee told fellow board members some regulatory violations were reviewed. 

Although the lottery board did not point out specific violations, some of the allegations included:

  • Allowing underage people access to the casino floor
  • Failure to properly license certain slot machines
  • Allowing a self-excluded person entry to the casino 

The Virgina Lottery Board’s settlement agreement reads:

“The Lottery has asserted that these actions violated the Casino Gaming Law and the regulations promulgated thereunder, and that these actions were sanctionable. Rivers has cooperated fully with the Lottery’s inquiry into these matters, and has taken corrective measures, and has developed a corrective action plan to ensure future compliance with the Casino Gaming Law and its related regulations.”

It’s typical for casinos to self-report infractions. However, Gee said specific details as to how regulators were notified cannot be discussed, according to WVEC. 

Although the review of Rivers Casino might be over, board officials said the settlement could change if the operator encounters additional regulatory infractions in the immediate future. 

Despite fine Rivers has profitable first full month

As it stands, Rivers now holds two titles, the first casino to open in Virginia and the first property to pay a fine. But despite the $275,000 fine, the casino did have a relatively profitable February. 

The casino generated roughly $24.6 million in gross gaming revenue (GGR) in February, its first full month in operation. In March, GGR dropped to $23.6 million.

  • Hard Rock Bristol February 2023 revenue – $13.7 million
  • Rivers Portsmouth February 2023 revenue – $24.6 million

Virginia collected about $4.3 million in state and local taxes from Rivers, with Portsmouth collecting roughly $1.4 million in city taxes. 

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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