First Virginia Casino Reports Almost $12 Million In Revenue In July

Written By Derek Helling on August 15, 2022
first revenue report virginia casinos hard rock bristol

On Monday, another first happened for Virginia casinos. The latest in the series of initial events is a first-ever monthly report from the Virginia Lottery regarding revenue from the state’s casino industry.

Currently, Virginia is not what you would call a major player in the US casino game, but it has enough in the pipeline to get it there. Therefore, the report consists of just one property and a temporary one at that.

But that won’t be the case forever and this first batch of numbers shows some promise for a brighter future.

First-ever Virginia casinos report reveals inaugural numbers

Last month brought the opening of the first brick-and-mortar casino in Virginia. Now, the first returns from that facility are available.

According to a release from the Virginia Lottery Monday, Hard Rock Bristol “generated nearly $12 million in adjusted gross revenues” over the month of July. The actual figure came to just over $11.7 million. The temporary casino, offering in-person slots, sports betting, and table games to Virginians for the first time, opened to the public on July 8.

The Lottery says that Hard Rock Bristol pulled in that $11.7 million on 870 slot machines and 21 gaming tables over the balance of July. It’s located on the site of the former Bristol Mall and is effectively a “placeholder” while construction is ongoing on the permanent facility.

Adjusted gross revenue is essentially the difference between the money that people wagered on the games and the winnings that the casino paid out. The Lottery says about $10.2 million of that total, or about 87%, was from slots play.

In Virginia, casinos pay a graduated tax rate that escalates at its different tiers. The rate on a casino’s first $200 million in revenue is 18%. Thus, the state collected just over $2.1 million in July, with 6% of that money going to Bristol through a Regional Improvement Commission. Another 1% of that money supports problem gambling treatment and the state’s Family and Children’s Trust Fund.

It’s difficult to draw many conclusions about what these numbers mean for Virginia casinos long term. However, the few available insights all seem positive.

More casinos in Virginia are on the way

Currently, Virginia casinos are limited to the confines of the former Bristol Mall. That won’t always be the case, though. PlayVirginia reports that the permanent Hard Rock Bristol will encompass over three times the area for gaming. The temporary facility has a gaming floor of 30,000 square feet while the plans for the future property promise 100,000 square feet.

The permanent Hard Rock Bristol isn’t the only gaming facility in the state forthcoming, either. The Lottery has issued licenses for casinos in three other Virginia cities including Danville, Norfolk, and Portsmouth. All three will offer hundreds of slots, dozens of gaming tables, and a retail sportsbook.

Richmond held a referendum to join the fray in November of 2021 but the city’s voters defeated that measure. City leaders and the potential developer of a casino in the state capital, Urban One, are pushing for a second referendum next year.

Plans for those properties include openings sometime in the next two years, akin to the timeline for the permanent casino in Bristol. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians even recently announced a partnership extension with Caesars, laying the ground for the long-awaited property in Danville. It will be officially called Caesars Virginia.

Rush Street Gaming has a contract with Portsmouth for a Rivers casino in that city. The Pamunkey Tribe has partnered with Norfolk for a project there, to be called the HeadWaters Resort & Casino. A temporary location for HeadWaters is in the works with hopes to open early next year according to PlayVirginia.

When those facilities start opening, the numbers on these monthly revenue reports will start growing. Until then, Virginians do have an option for hitting the slots and trying their hands at table games in Bristol.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including legislation and litigation in the gaming industry. He enjoys reading hundreds of pages of a gambling bill or lawsuit for his audience. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa.

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