Now that Virginia has two brick-and-mortar casinos operating, the revenue and taxes collected in January had a major increase.
Revenue increased by nearly $8 million and taxes from casino gaming in Virginia jumped 13.2% in January, according to the Virginia Lottery, which released its report on casino gaming activity for the month late Wednesday.
Rivers Casino Portsmouth opened Jan. 23, joining the temporary facility at Hard Rock Bristol Casino.
Benefits Of Two Virginia Casinos
January's combined casino adjusted gross revenue (AGR) was $22,473,836, up 51.0% from $14,879,037 in the Virginia December casino revenue report, when Bristol had the lone facility.
Overall slot machine AGR in January came in at $18,088,030, up 49.0% from December ($12,136,049). Table game revenue generated $4,385,806, up 59.9% from December ($2,742,988), and taxes increased from $2,678,227 in December to $3,030,828 last month.
The Portsmouth casino has a retail BetRivers sports betting outlet. The online BetRivers Virginia Sportsbook is also operating.
Strong Start at Rivers Casino Portsmouth
The new kid on the block, Rivers Casino Portsmouth, operated for eight days in January. On Jan. 25, the facility reported that that gamblers put more than $11 million into slot machines on their first day. After paying out winnings, Rivers Casino generated $9,039,290 in adjusted gross revenue in January.
Hard Rock Bristol Casino, which opened July 8, 2022, generated $13,434,546 in AGR in January, a 9.7% drop from December's $14,879,037.
In a comparison, Rivers Casino Portsmouth generated an average of $827,916 in slot AGR per day in January while Bristol Casino recorded an average of $343,122. Portsmouth has 1,446 slot machines and Bristol has 870.
The Virginia Lottery Board approved the casino license for Hard Rock Bristol in April 2022 at the site of the former Bristol Mall. The board then approved the casino license for Rivers Casino Portsmouth in November 2022.
Taxes To The State
Virginia law assesses a graduated tax on a casino’s AGR, or wagers minus winnings.
For January, Rivers Casino Portsmouth will pay $1,627,072 in taxes to the state while Hard Rock Bristol pays $1,403,756. According to the Virginia Lottery, Hard Rock Bristol’s tax total for January was adjusted to reflect a credit for tax overpayments on gaming revenues from July to December 2022.
Taxes paid are distributed to the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund, the Family and Children’s Trust Fund, and the host locality. For the Bristol casino, the statute specifies the portion of taxes reserved for the host locality goes to the Regional Improvement Commission.
More Casinos On The Horizon
Five Virginia cities have been approved to build casinos: Bristol, Portsmouth, Danville, Norfolk, and Richmond. The permanent Hard Rock Bristol Casino is scheduled to open in May 2024.
Rivers Casino Portsmouth is Virginia's first permanent casino.
Caesars Virginia in Danville plans to open a temporary casino in July this year. The facility will grow into a permanent casino scheduled to open in 2024.
Norfolk's HeadWaters Resort & Casino is planning to open a temporary facility sometime this year that will expand into a permanent casino later.
Richmond tried to get a casino passed during a referendum in 2021 but was voted down. The City of Petersburg is now trying to replace Richmond as a casino host city.
Continued Expansion of Sports Betting
The month of January also welcomed two additional online/mobile operators for Virginia sports betting.
The new year saw Bet365 and Betfred Sportsbook VA go live in the state. Both are U.K.-based companies that have been expanding in the U.S. The two new arrivals will go up against market leaders like FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM, to name a few.
FanDuel VA Sportsbook, the first to launch in Virginia in 2021, holds 41.08% of the state’s market share, according to the Virginia Lottery.
In terms of revenue, Virginia's current casino industry is no match for the state's sports betting market. The Old Dominion currently hosts 15 sports betting operators that handled over $5 billion in bets in 2022 alone.
For the best VA sportsbook promo codes at those sites, trust BetVirginia.