Virginia Casino Revenue at Bristol Rises Slightly in September

Virginia Casino Revenue at Bristol Rises Slightly in September
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Revenue numbers for Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol, Virginia's first casino, hit $14 million for the second month in a row since its opening in July. The Virginia Lottery released the revenue figures in its monthly casino activity report. The report shows earnings for September.

The casino reported $14,305,177 in Adjusted Gross Revenues (AGR) from slots and table games in September. Not a major increase. September's revenue is only 0.18% higher (a $25,798 difference) than Virginia August revenue, which reached $14,279,379.

Slot machines led the way in September, though revenue dropped compared to August. The machines generated $11,320,238, down 1% from August. Table games looked better in September, earning $2,984,939, up 5% from August.

The casino paid the state $2,574,932 in taxes (18%) for September's AGR, up 0.2% from August ($2,570,288).

There are no Virginia online casinos. Six states have iGaming (another name for online wagering on slots, roulette and other popular casino games) in a legal, regulated market: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Michigan, Connecticut and West Virginia.

The Virginia Lottery Board approved the casino license for Hard Rock Bristol in April, and the temporary casino, on the site of the former Bristol Mall, opened to the public on July 8. The casino has regenerated a total AGR of $40 million since opening and has paid a total of $7.2 million in taxes to the Commonwealth.

The temporary casino is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Since opening, the facility has generated average revenue of $19,756 per hour over the past three months, according to data compiled by BetVirginia.

A permanent Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is under construction at the temporary facility. The permanent structure is slated to open in summer 2024.

The Virginia Lottery assumed regulatory oversight of casino gaming in 2020. Taxes generated by casino gaming will benefit priorities as determined by the General Assembly.

Three New Virginia Casinos Could Open in 2023

Gamblers in the state, who have had Virginia sports betting since January 2021, could see three new casinos open in the first three months of the new year.

Based in New Kent, Colonial Downs Group is investing an estimated $429 million in developing a new gaming and entertainment destination in Dumfries called “The Rose Gaming Resort.”

Located on a former industrial landfill, The Rose Gaming Resort, when fully built, will include a 350-room hotel, eight bars and restaurants, a cultural venue, a space for meetings and events, and more than 80 acres of green space with miles of bike and fitness trails, athletic fields and a playground.

The Rose will generate an estimated $59 million in annual tax revenues and have more than 600 team members.

The new resort, scheduled to open in January 2023, will host 1,800 Historical Horse Racing machines.

Rivers Casino Portsmouth is under construction with plans to open in February 2023. The company announced recently slot machines will start arriving in November.

Headwaters Resort & Casino plans to open a temporary facility in Norfolk in March 2023. The venue is under development by the Pamunkey Indian Tribe Gaming Authority. A full-scale casino will be opened at a later date.

Caesars Virginia is under construction in Danville with plans to open in late 2024. It was originally planned to open in December 2023, But in May, Caesars senior development management advised the Danville City Council that the opening of the resort in 2023 is “unrealistic” because of the cost, labor shortages, and challenges found at the construction site.

Caesars Entertainment has now entered into a partnership with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to develop the casino resort and recently performed a groundbreaking ceremony.

As for Richmond, the fifth candidate, it appears that 2023 is the earliest the state’s capital can approve a casino plan after the voters there rejected it in 2021.

Hard Rock Bristol opened Virginia's first retail sportsbook as part of the venue in July. Hard Rock's mobile sports betting app went live in the state on March 31.

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More Mobile Virginia Betting Options Coming

Today, there are 13 mobile VA sports betting apps available in the commonwealth. They are: FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, WynnBET, Unibet, Barstool Sportsbook, Bally Bet, PointsBet, Hard Rock Sportsbook, SI Sportsbook, and Betway.

Golden Nugget Online Gaming launched in Virginia on Sept. 30, 2021, but it was acquired by DraftKings Sportsbook in August 2021. Their app ceased Virginia operations in May.

The Virginia Lottery awarded a temporary permit to British sportsbook giant Bet365 on Aug. 15. No launch date has been announced at this time. The company is listed as Hillside (Virginia), LLC on Virginia's Approved Permit Holders list.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement already has Bet365 live in the Garden State. The company went live in Colorado in September.

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

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