Virginia casino gaming revenue fell more than 4% in the month of October compared to September, according to the Virginia Lottery’s monthly gaming report released on Wednesday.
Three casinos are currently open and operating in Virginia — Hard Rock Bristol Casino (opened July 2022), Rivers Casino Portsmouth (opened January 2023) and Caesars Virginia Danville Casino (opened May 2023). Bristol Casino and Danville Casino are temporary casinos that will expand into full resorts in the next year. The Caesars casino features a retail Caesars Sportsbook Virginia location.
Combined, the three locations reported an adjusted gaming revenue (AGR) of $49,561,066 for the month of October, down 4.5% from September ($51,912,142). The month also saw $9,110,938 sent to the Commonwealth of Virginia as tax payments. That tax money is distributed to the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund, the Family and Children’s Trust Fund and the host city. The $9.1 million tax payment in October is down 2.5% from September ($9,344,186).
Total slot machine revenue for October came in at $37,222,274, down 4.5% from September ($38,991,378), with table games recording $12,338,792, down 4.5% from September ($12,920,764). In a detailed breakdown, Rivers Casino Portsmouth recorded the biggest AGR in October at $20,039,678, down less than 1% from September ($20,054,889).
Portsmouth’s slots revenue was $14,303,849 from 1,461 machines, up 2% from September ($14,062,111). The casino’s 81 table games reported revenue at $5,735,829, down 4% from September ($5,992,778).
Danville Casino experienced the biggest drop in AGR, down 12% from September’s $19,141,397 to October’s $16,841,268. The Virginia Lottery report shows four slot machines and eight table games were added to the casino floor between September and October. The location now has 822 slot machines and 33 table games. There are no legal Virginia online casinos.
Bristol Casino reported an AGR of $12,680,119 for October, down less than 1% from September ($12,715,854). The location has 897 slot machines and 29 table games. Rivers Casino Portsmouth paid $3,797,089 in taxes to the state during October with Caesars Virginia paying $3,031,428 and Hard Rock Bristol sending $2,282,422.
Future Casino Plans in The Old Dominion
Five cities in Virginia were approved to develop casinos based on legislation passed in 2020. Bristol, Portsmouth, Danville, Norfolk and Richmond are the designated cities. Virginia sports betting became legal in 2021.
A $500-million casino in Norfolk, titled HeadWaters Resort & Casino, is under development by the Pamunkey Indian Tribe. The fifth casino planned in Richmond was rejected by voters a second time during this month’s election.
Maryland-based media conglomerate Urban One partnered with Churchill Downs, Inc., to place the $562-million casino project on the ballot for this month’s election. The second referendum was voted down with 61% voting against it, and 38% approving of it. It is rumored Urban One may set its sights on Petersburg for its casino project, less than 25 miles south of Richmond.
Meanwhile, after submitting a series of design revisions to the City of Norfolk, the $500 million HeadWaters Resort & Casino Project hopes to get approval to start construction in 2024. The tribe plans to file an application for final site plan approval and an application for a Development Certificate prior to Dec. 11, which will enable the applications to be considered by the Norfolk Architecture Review Board in January and by the Planning Commission in late January, followed by the city council hearing the applications in February.
“Our team has been meeting routinely with city staff to review the project plans and discuss the development timeline,” the Chief of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, Robert Gray, said earlier this month. “We want to get this project up and running as soon as possible to start generating revenue for our tribe, for the other recognized Virginia tribes that will benefit from this project, and for the City of Norfolk, its citizens and the Commonwealth of Virginia.”