Virginia Land-Based Casinos: Progress Update

Back in November of 2020, Virginia’s voters decided in favor of having four land-based casinos built across the great state. With Virginia casinos’ annual estimated revenue coming in around $412 million, Virginia sports bettors are waiting patiently for their opportunity to finally enjoy casinos in their own home state.

Here are some of the most recent updates in regards to each of the casinos, and what kind of timeline they’re currently on. With the referendum having passed only months ago, see how far along each of the projects are so you can get a better idea of when they’ll finally be open for business.

Caesars Virginia

Danville, VA

According to their events page, Caesars Virginia isn’t set to break ground until later this year, or early 2022. Set to be built on Dan River Mills’ Schoolfield Division site, Caesars’ planned $400 million resort won’t begin hiring staff until early in 2023.

As of now, Caesars Virginia has an expected opening of midyear 2023, with very few updates available coming into the new year.

Norfolk Resort & Casino

Norfolk, VA

As of January 14th, Norfolk Resort & Casino is finishing up most of the required paperwork to be able to break ground. With the development agreement signed on January 13th, The Pamunkey Indian Tribe has planned a $500 million resort and casino across 13.4 acres of land.

While they may still be crossing some Ts and dotting the Is, they appear to be on schedule for breaking ground in early spring of this year, and opening in late 2022 or early 2023.

Rivers Casino Portsmouth

Portsmouth, VA

Few updates are currently available on Portsmouth’s proposed casino, but with voters only recently making their decision, it’s to be expected. Currently, this proposed $300 million casino is set to be built near the Elizabeth River marina. 

Construction is expected to begin later in 2021, with construction finalizing and doors open for 2023.

Hard Rock Casino Bristol

Bristol, VA

Hard Rock Bristol is currently set to be fully operational by 2022, with a temporary casino scheduled to open very soon. While there is currently little information available even about the temporary Casino being set up, more information is expected within the coming weeks.

Due to the licensing required by casinos, it’s still considered questionable whether or not Hard Rock Bristol will be able to open a temporary casino, so keep that in mind.

General Virginia Casino Timelines

With most of the casinos still in their early stages of development, it’s important to recognize some of the timelines that have been set forth by the state. With the Virginia Lottery anticipating the first casinos to open no earlier than the spring of 2022, there’s still quite a bit of work ahead for these casino projects.

  • February 2021: Initial drafts of regulations and oversight, with the approval not expected until April of 2021.
  • Spring/Summer 2021: Expected that the initial casino operator licenses will be issued around late spring or early summer of 2021.
  • Spring 2022: The state expects the first casinos to open around this time.

Revenue And Tax Estimations

When originally presented back in 2019, it was estimated that Virginia could see a massive $262 million in increased tax revenue per year, assuming a 27% tax rate. That means across 4 new land-based casinos (figures also include the one still being voted on in Richmond,) economists are projecting total revenue of nearly $1 billion.

Stay Tuned For More Developments

As the timeline for these casinos gets shorter, stay tuned for more information as it readily becomes available. Each step of the process takes time, but eventually, each of these casinos will be filled to the brim with state locals ready to get in on the gambling fun.

About the Author

Amber Hoffman

Amber Hoffman is Managing Editor of A recovering attorney, she's spent almost a decade developing and managing websites and writing for a variety of industries. Amber became a Cubs fan after living a handful of blocks from Wrigley Field, much to the chagrin of her Mets-loving family and Red Sox-loving husband. Amber writes for a number of online sites including the food and lifestyle site Food And Drink Destinations.