Rivers Casino Portsmouth in Virginia opening on January 15, 2023

Posted on: Nov 21, 2022 11:53 am.

Last updated on: November 21, 2022 12:33 pm.

Rivers Casino Portsmouth plans to make Virginia history by opening the state’s first permanent casino on January 15, 2023.

Rivers Casino Portsmouth Virginia Gambling
Construction of the Rivers Casino Portsmouth on Virginia’s Hampton Roads is nearing completion. The $340 million casino is scheduled to open on January 15, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. local time. (Picture: The Virginian Pilot)

Rivers Casino Portsmouth is a $340 million company owned by Rush Street Gaming, a Chicago-based gaming operator that operates casinos in Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York and soon Virginia.

The Virginia Lottery Board licensed Rivers Portsmouth to operate last week. The offering paved the way for the opening of the upcoming casino resort near Tidewater Community College’s Portsmouth campus, just south of I-264 between Missy Elliott and Victory Boulevards.

Rush Street confirmed Monday morning that Rivers Portsmouth will hold its grand opening on Sunday, January 15, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. EST.

First to the market

The Virginia legislature and then governor. Ralph Northam (D) legalized commercial gambling in 2020 but only in five designated cities. The gambling bill was designed to help economically weak cities by allowing them to authorize a single casino resort to boost job creation and regional economic activity, creating a new tax benefit.

Richmond, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Danville and Bristol were the five qualifying cities. Four of the designated sites subsequently received local voter approval through voting referendums. Only Richmond voters chose to waive the gambling privilege.

The Virginia Gambling Bill allowed any licensed casino to open a temporary casino while the permanent resort was being built. Hard Rock opened its temporary gaming space last July. Temporary casinos are also planned in Norfolk and Danville.

Rivers chose to sidestep building a temporary casino and instead focus on the permanent resort. Rush Street broke ground on Rivers Casino Portsmouth in December 2021. Less than a year later, the property is nearing completion and will open its doors in just 55 days.


Rivers Casino Portsmouth will be Virginia’s first permanent casino in the state’s history to welcome guests.

Hard Rock Bristol, a $400 million project, is targeting a summer 2024 opening. HeadWaters Resort & Casino in Norfolk, a $500 million development by the Pamunkey Tribe and billionaire Jon Yarbrough, also won’t open until 2024. Caesars Entertainment’s $650 million investment in Danville is also not expected to be ready until 2024.

But in January, Rivers Casino Portsmouth will welcome guests with 1,448 slot machines, 57 gaming tables and a 24-table poker room. The resort will feature 10 restaurants and bars, as well as a 25,000-square-foot convention center adaptable for a range of events and entertainment.

In the coming weeks, we will remain focused on continuing the hiring and training efforts – to ensure our team is ready to deliver a best-in-class customer experience when our doors open in January.” said Roy Corby, Managing Director of Rivers Casino Portsmouth.

Rivers says its Portsmouth workforce will total about 1,300 team members by the time it opens in January 2023. Rivers will not open with a hotel on site. But Rush says one could be added at a later date.

The Hampton Roads area is already home to numerous hotels. And with Rivers Casino Portsmouth’s proximity to the Tidewater campus, accommodation shouldn’t be a problem for casino guests looking to stay the night.

Numerous hotels are within five miles of Rivers Casino Portsmouth including a Hampton Inn, Day’s Inn, Renaissance, Candlewood Suites and Quality Inn.