Portsmouth mayor Shannon Glover has announced that the groundbreaking for the city’s casino will be on December 7th.
While the mayor did not specify what activities the groundbreaking ceremony will have, what is sure is that the Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming will pour $300 million to build the Rivers Casino Portsmouth on 57 acres of land located just south of Interstate 264 between McClean Street and Victory Boulevard.
One of Four Virginia Cities that Voted for a Casino
Portsmouth was one of four Virginia cities that voted to approve the development of a single casino site in its area. The other cities that passed their respective referendums during the 2020 presidential election are Norfolk, Danville, and Bristol. Richmond was the fifth Virginia city that had a casino vote on its ballot but residents rejected the proposed $565 project proposed by Urban One and Peninsula Pacific Entertainment.
As for Portsmouth, the casino measure easily passed the voters’ test with approximately 67% choosing the “YES” option in the ballot. The project is expected to generate $16 million in annual tax revenue for the city and is being touted to bring $200 million worth of economic activity to the Portsmouth and Hampton roads per year.
Richmond’s Loss is Portsmouth’s Gain
The rejection of the One bid in Richmond is a gain for Portsmouth and Norfolk, which has partnered with the Pamunkey Indian Tribe and billionaire gaming industry veteran Jan Yarbough to construct a $500 million casino resort project on the Elizabeth River next to the city’s Harbor Park minor league baseball stadium.
The One casino in Richmond would have essentially blocked traffic from Richmond and northern Virginia coming to Norfolk and Portsmouth. With that project out of the equation, the Norfolk and Portsmouth casinos will benefit greatly with Richmond just 70 miles northwest of the Hampton Road cities.