‘A great day for Portsmouth’ as Rush Street gains $300m casino approval

Rush Street Gaming has vowed to deliver a strong economic engine for the commonwealth and the local community, after its $300m casino resort project in Portsmouth, Virginia, gained the approval of voters.

Becoming the latest addition to the firm’s portfolio of gaming and entertainment venues, the latest approval follows precertification being issued by the Virginia Lottery Board in July.

Following the green-light being awarded by residents in the November 3 referendum, Rivers Casino Portsmouth is pencilled in to debut two years after the firm receives a gaming license from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The $300m casino project planned for Victory Boulevard will bring 1,300 permanent jobs and 1,400 temporary construction jobs to the currently vacant site.

Furthermore, the latest Rivers casino entity will boast a hotel, indoor and outdoor concert venues, conference space and multiple restaurants, as well as a gaming floor that will feature a variety of slots, table games, a poker room, and BetRivers sportsbook.

“This is a great day for Portsmouth,” said Portsmouth Mayor John Rowe. “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 $16m 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.”

Rivers Casino Portsmouth’s estimated annual payroll will be $62m, with a Portsmouth First commitment to build a diverse workforce and to hire locally also expressed. 

“We thank the residents of Portsmouth, the City of Portsmouth, and the Portsmouth Economic Development team for their support,” said Neil Bluhm, chairman of Rush Street Gaming.

“We’re eager to get construction underway, so this strong economic engine for the Commonwealth and the local community can start producing benefits.”

The decision to allow casino gaming has also been made in three other Virginia cities, with Norfolk, Bristol and Danville also giving the nod. Operating partners on those developments will be the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, Hard Rock International and Caesars Entertainment, respectively.