Home Virginia Lottery Board approves operator’s license for Rivers Casino Portsmouth

Virginia Lottery Board approves operator’s license for Rivers Casino Portsmouth

Crystal Graham
rivers casino portsmouth
Photo courtesy Rivers Casino Portsmouth Facebook page

The second casino operator in Virginia has been approved by the Virginia Lottery Board in a 7-0 vote.

Rivers Portsmouth Gaming, LLC, d/b/a Rivers Casino Portsmouth joins Hard Rock Bristol Casino in having their application for licensure approved. Job fairs have been ongoing for the Portsmouth casino since May. According to their social media, an opening is planned in early 2023.

Two more proposed casinos, in Danvillle and Norfolk, are still under review by the Virginia Lottery.

“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,” said Ferhan Hamid, board chairman. “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.”

Rock Bristol Casino received its license approval in April 2022 and subsequently opened the doors of its temporary facility to the public in July 2022.

All four were approved by voters in local referenda in November 2020.

“The Lottery’s gaming compliance department and legal counsel assisted in today’s decision by conducting investigations and background checks on the applicants,” said Virginia Lottery executive director Kelly T. Gee. “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.”

The Virginia Lottery was created in a 1987 referendum by Virginia voters. Under legislation passed by the Virginia General Assembly in 2020, the Lottery also assumed regulatory oversight of sports wagering and casino gaming in the Commonwealth.

While proceeds from traditional games offered by the Lottery support a variety of K-12 programs, the taxes generated by sports wagering and casino gaming will benefit other priorities of the Commonwealth as determined by the General Assembly.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.