Although not officially opened yet, the Rivers Casino Portsmouth has received its operating license from the Virginia Lottery Board, becoming the second casino in the commonwealth to receive licensing.
It is the first location to earn its license in Hampton Roads and is under construction on Victory Boulevard, near the Tidewater Community College.
The Virginia Lottery Board voted unanimously to grant the license to the casino for the cost of $15m after hearing presentations from casino representatives. The board also conducted an extensive investigation into the group.
Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kelly T. Gee said: "The Lottery works with all casino applicants, their vendors and employees to make sure all aspects of the operation are in strict compliance with Virginia law."
Rivers Casino Portsmouth GM Roy Corby told The Virginian-Pilot: "Our Rivers Casino Portsmouth team is grateful to the Virginia Lottery Board for their thoughtful and thorough consideration.
"We look forward to sharing the timing and details of our early 2023 grand opening with the Hampton Roads community very soon."
The first casino to receive approval in Virginia was the Hard Rock Bristol Casino in July 2022. Currently, the Virginia Lottery Board is reviewing applications from proposed casinos in Norfolk and Danville.
Rivers Casino Portsmouth will have 1,448 slot machines, 57 table games, 24 poker tables, 10 restaurants and bars, banquet and event space and around 2,000 parking spaces.
To secure the casino, the location will be equipped with surveillance cameras, security patrols, extra lighting, ID scanners and metal detectors.
S.B. Ballard Construction, a Virginia-based group, and Yates Construction are the contractors for the project.