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Julie Moraine November 4, 2020 3 min read
Two-Thirds of Voters Approved Rivers Casino Portsmouth
Portsmouth referendum approved the development of a casino in the city as two-thirds of the residents’ votes were in favor of the $300 million project proposal. Rivers Casino Portsmouth, which is planned for Victory Boulevard, is also expected to create 1,300 permanent jobs, on top of the 1,400 temporary construction ones.
Approved by a Margin of Two-Thirds
Portsmouth residents voted 67% in favor of the proposed by Chicago-based gaming operator Rush Street Gaming casino project which will be built along I-264 in the new Entertainment District. The casino complex will be spread across 400,000 square feet, and will have a hotel, a conference hall, several restaurants, a parking garage, as well as surface parking space. The gaming floor of the casino resort will feature a state-of-the-art BetRivers Sportsbook, besides the poker room and the wide variety of slots and table games.
“The Portsmouth voters have said yes to a new economic opportunity – an opportunity that will not only create great new jobs, but also generate more than $16 million in new annual tax revenues for our community. With Rush Street Gaming, Portsmouth has secured an excellent developer and operator of world-class destination casinos, with a track record of keeping promises, community support, and job creation. We’ve chosen our partner very well.”Portsmouth Mayor John Rowe
Top New Workplace
The casino is estimated to generate $62 million in wages, salaries and tips for local residents, as Rivers Casino’s Portsmouth First commitment means the casino will look to build its diverse workforce by hiring locally. All land-based casinos of Rush Street have been voted a “top workplace” by their respective team members.
“We thank the residents of Portsmouth, the City of Portsmouth, and the Portsmouth Economic Development team for their support. We’re eager to get construction underway, so this strong economic engine for the Commonwealth and the local community can start producing benefits.”Neil Bluhm, Chairman, Rush Street Gaming
Back in July, the Virginia Lottery Board pre-certified Rush Street Gaming to operate a casino in the state, and now, after the referendum vote’s green light, the casino operator will have to apply for a license. The Chicago-based casino company expects to open its gaming facility within 2 years of receiving a gaming license from the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Besides the $16 million in annual tax revenue for Portsmouth, Rivers Casino Portsmouth is estimated to generate in excess of $250 million in gross domestic product for the region.
Portsmouth residents were not the only ones to vote in favor of a land-based gaming facility, as their neighbors across the Elizabeth River, Norfolk, also approved a casino for their city.