Bristol Hard Rock Expands Gaming Beyond Main Casino Floor

Bristol Hard Rock Expands Gaming Beyond Main Casino Floor
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

The Hard Rock Bristol Casino has expanded its offering of slot machines and table games at its temporary casino in Virginia. Guests now will be able to enjoy a total of 890 slots and 29 table games at the facility. Opening on July 8, 2022, Bristol Casino started with 870 slot machines and 21 table games.

The new offerings include:

  • Two new Blackjack tables to High Limit
  • Blackjack table and Mississippi Stud table added to Non-Smoking area
  • Eight new Dragon Link machines to High Limit
  • 20 new slot machines from Sega Sammy

As part of this expansion, the casino unveiled a new ‘Party Pit’ amenity on St. Patrick’s Day. This new space – beside Bristol Bar and across from the sportsbook – features four Blackjack tables.

“The Party Pit’s convenient location will provide guests with a fun, energetic vibe, surrounded by live music and TVs featuring all the latest sports action,” Hard Rock said in the press release. Located outside the main casino floor, the Party Pit will be open Thursday through Sunday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Speaking on behalf of Bristol Casino in an email to, Andy Porch said, “We’ve been in the process of installing them over the last 2-3 weeks, and that work has just been completed.”

Providing more games could boost revenue numbers for the casino. The location’s biggest month so far was December generating $14.8 million in adjusted gross revenue (AGR).

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Latest Revenue Report From Virginia Lottery

The latest report from the Virginia Lottery, released last week, shows Bristol Casino generated $13.7 million in the February Virginia casino revenue report, up 2.21% from January’s ($13.4 million).

Slots provided $11.1 million, up 5.25% from January’s ($10.6 million).

Table games declined in February, down 9.3% at $2.5 million from January’s $2.8 million.

That is the only way to wager legally in the state on such games because there are no Virginia online casinos.

How Portsmouth Casino Fared in First Full Month

Meanwhile, some 400 miles away, Rivers Casino Portsmouth just completed its first full month open and recorded the lion’s share of Virginia casino gaming revenue in February. The casino was open for only eight days in January following a grand opening on Jan. 23.

In its first full month of operating, Rivers Casino, which is partnered with the BetRivers Virginia Sportsbook, generated an AGR of $24.6 million in February, up 173% from January ($9,039,290).

The Virginia Lottery monthly report shows the casino had 1,420 slot machines operating in February that recorded $17,130,083 in AGR, up 130% from January ($7,451,245).

Table game AGR for February came in at $7,531,518, up 374% from January ($1,588,045).

Online Virginia Sportsbooks Keep Thriving

Those figures supplement an active market for VA sports betting apps, which in 2022 alone attracted nearly $5 billion in handle and made more than $348 million in revenue for the state.

And with 2,310 casino slot machines and 110 table games now available in the commonwealth, casino gaming has provided $10 million in tax payments to the state in 2023 between January and February revenue.

Casino slot machines are the new kid on the block for Virginia. The state currently gains tax revenue from 2,607 Historical Horse Racing machines that started operating in the commonwealth in 2019.

HHR Machines Also Operate

HHR machines, operating at six Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums in the state, are very similar to casino slot machines, but determine a win or loss by randomly picking a past horse race from a database.

In addition to HHR machines, skill games, also known as gray machines, are operating in the state. Again, these machines look and feel like casino slot machines, commonly found at gas stations, restaurants, and convenience stores. The difference is these games require the player to interact with the machine to pick and choose a winning combination of symbols. There are an estimated 9,038 skill games in Virginia.

These skill games operate with little oversight under the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, while several states are out to ban the machines.

Kentucky recently became the first state to pass standalone legislation banning unregulated skill games.

The future of skill games in Virginia currently rests in a lingering lawsuit in Greensville County challenging the state’s decision last year to outlaw skill gaming. The lawsuit is scheduled to be heard sometime next month.

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Keith Stein is a Virginia-based writer for who covers sports betting and casinos.

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