DANVILLE, Virginia – Surrounded by state and local officials, Caesars Entertainment officially opened its temporary Danville Casino in Virginia on Monday. The temporary facility is the Future Home of Caesars Virginia, a massive $650-million permanent resort slated to open in late 2024.
The company operates the Caesars Virginia sportsbook in the state.
City and state officials along with Caesars management highlighted the importance of the project during a ribbon-cutting ceremony before opening the doors Monday morning.
Future projections estimate 1.5 million people will visit Caesars and will remain in the City of Danville for one and a half days. Why is that important?
“One and a half days is an overnight stay in one of our hotels,” said State Delegate Daniel Marshall (R-Danville). “They will go to our restaurants; they’re going to be buying from our retailers.”
City officials expect the casino to bring in about $8 million in local gaming taxes and hundreds of jobs in the next year while the permanent Danville casino is built. But is there interest in the casino?
“Our phones have been blowing off the hook,” Danville Mayor Alonzo Jones said.
Virginia Casino Progress
Under legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2020, five Virginia cities were approved to build a casino: Bristol, Portsmouth, Danville, Norfolk and Richmond.
Caesars Virginia – which operates one of several name-brand Virginia sports betting apps – is the third casino to open in the commonwealth behind Hard Rock’s Bristol Casino and Rivers Casino Portsmouth. Hard Rock received its license approval in April 2022 and subsequently opened the doors of its temporary facility to the public in July 2022. Rivers Casino Portsmouth received its license approval in November 2022 and opened publicly in January 2023.
The new Danville Casino is a 40,000 square feet facility filled with 25 live table games, 28 electronic games and 740 slot machines.
After opening the doors, social media platforms were abuzz, debating why smoking is allowed in the casino.
“We had a really good time today, but what’s up with all the smoking?” said Monica Neal, a Caesars Danville VA Casino group member on Facebook. “Definitely not comfortable with that. They need a non-smoking section ASAP.”
Rivers Casino Portsmouth experienced the same comments throughout social media after opening in January. The casino quickly designated non-smoking sections on their floor in response to the public comments.
Hard Rock Bristol Casino had non-smoking sections designated before their temporary facility opened in July.
Games Available at Danville Casino
The opening of any new casino is always met with a barrage of questions from gamblers about what types of games, restaurants and services are offered on the property. A detailed look at table games at Caesars Virginia shows the property provides a little bit for everyone.
Roulette: There are two live dealer roulette tables. One table, RO301, has a minimum bet of $15 and a maximum of $200. The second table, RO310, has a minimum bet of $25 with a maximum of $200. On opening day there were no chairs at either table for players, it was standing room only. In addition to live dealer tables, there are several Interblock electronic roulette games available that provide bench seating.
Blackjack: There are several live dealer tables; some pay 3 to 2 and others pay 6 to 5. Tables paying 3 to 2 have a minimum bet of $25 with a maximum of $3,000. Tables paying 6 to 5 have a minimum of $15 and a maximum of $1,000. As with roulette, there are a number of electronic blackjack Interblock games available.
For high rollers, the casino has three high-limit live dealer blackjack tables that pay 3 to 2. One table has a minimum bet of $50 with a maximum of $5,0000. The two additional tables have a $100 minimum with a $5,000 maximum.
Ultimate Texas Hold’em: This live dealer table game has a minimum bet of $10 with a maximum of $500. There is no Virginia online poker available in the state so this and other poker tables are the best options.
Crazy 4 Poker Progressive: This live dealer card table game has a minimum bet of $10 with a maximum of $500.
Three-Card Poker: This live dealer card table game has a minimum bet of $10 with a maximum of $500.
EZ Baccarat: There are two EZ Baccarat live dealer tables. One has a minimum bet of $25 with a maximum of $10,000. The second table has a minimum bet of $50 with a maximum of $10,000. Like poker and other card games, this is the to option in the state because Virginia online casinos have not been made legal.
Spanish 21: There is only one Spanish 21 live dealer table. This table game has a minimum bet of $15 with a maximum of $1,000.
Mississippi Stud: This live dealer table game has a minimum bet of $15 with a maximum bet of $500.
Craps: There are several electronic Interblock Craps games available on the floor.
Let It Ride: This live dealer card table game has a minimum bet of $10 with a maximum of $500.
The temporary casino has one small restaurant called Three Stacks and serves classic American food and drinks. Sports betting is provided by a bank of Caesars kiosks inside the casino. That gives the state another retail location to wager on sports, adding to a growing list of Virginia sports betting options.
When first proposed, Caesars said the full permanent resort would be a $400 million investment. Over time, that price tag has now increased to $650 million.
(Photo courtesy of Keith Stein)