Rivers Casino Portsmouth Ceremonial Groundbreaking to Be Held in December

The Mayor of Portsmouth, Virginia, confirmed the ceremonial event for Rivers Casino Portsmouth, which will be held on Tuesday, December 7. Further information as to what the ceremony might entail was not provided by the mayor, but it is known that the casino will be built on 57 acres of land.

Rush Street Gaming Invested $300 Million in Rivers Casino Portsmouth

One additional detail that is known about the new casino in Portsmouth is that Rush Street Gaming, which had a decent performance in Q3 of 2021, has set aside $300 million to build the Rivers Casino. It will be located south of I-264 between Victory Boulevard and McClean Street.

This is about three miles southwest of Portsmouth’s downtown area. The resort will be adjacent to the campus of Tidewater Community College Portsmouth.

Portsmouth was one of four Virginia cities that approved the single casino development in a local ballot referendum during the presidential elections last year. Now, casinos are being built in Bristol, Norfolk and Danville. Since 67% of the voters answered Yes to the referendum, it was easily passed.

The fifth and only remaining city that was qualified to ask its residents whether casino gambling should be authorized was Richmond. Even though a $565-million casino pitch was proposed, voters in the capital of Virginia rejected it earlier this month. A project from Urban One and Peninsula Pacific Entertainment was denied, as 51% of the voters answered against the development.

Site Planning Began In the Summer

Even though Rush Street and Portsmouth will hold a ceremonial groundbreaking on the casino’s construction next month, site planning started at the start of August. Crews have been on the property daily and they were clearing vegetation as well as other groundbreaking impediments.

While speaking to 13 News Now, Justin Ballard of S.B. Ballard Construction Company stated that the process was actually “setting the stage.” S.B. Ballard is one of the major contractors that was hired by Rush Street.

Back in January, the Virginia Lottery signed off on the Rivers Portsmouth plan. The Lottery is in charge of overseeing the building, licensing and future operations concerning gaming of the four land-based commercial casinos in the state.

Rush Street to Hire More Than 1,000 Full-Time Workers

Once the project is fully finished, Rush Street intends to hire 1,300 full-time employees. Additionally, the company claims that around 1,400 workers will be needed for the construction of the casino. Once it’s done, Rivers is expected to generate $16 million in tax revenue each year. Moreover, it is forecast to produce upwards of $200 million into the roads economy of Hampton and Portsmouth annually.

The fact that Richmond rejected its casino is a good outcome for Rivers Portsmouth and the Norfolk casino undertaking. Local Norfolk officials have teamed up with Jon Yarbrough, a billionaire and a veteran in the gaming industry, and the Pamunkey Indian Tribe to build a casino resort worth $500 million.

It’ll be located next to the Harbor Park minor league baseball stadium of the city on the Elizabeth River. HeadWaters Resort & Casino in Norfolk and Rivers Casino in Portsmouth will take full advantage of the current Richmond situation and benefit from the fact that Richmond doesn’t have any casinos. These two cities are located 70 miles northeast of Richmond.

Bob McNab, Old Dominion University economics professor, stated that the Richmond proposed casino would’ve blocked traffic from Northern Virginia and Richmond itself as they would choose the city’s casino over those in Norfolk and Portsmouth.

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