BRISTOL, Va. — The Virginia Lottery Board recently granted a license for the state’s first casino, which developers intend to open in Bristol in 2024.
According to a presentation to the board last week, the $400 million project is expected to include a 300-room hotel, five restaurants, four bars or lounges and a concert venue. Developers expect to employ over 1,200 people, TV station WJHL reported. Gambling options will include slots, tables and a sportsbook.
A new gaming revenue tax will be split among 12 southwest Virginia counties.
“I think school systems, hopefully first responders, other localities will benefit from that,” Bristol Mayor Anthony Farnum said.
Hard Rock announced after the vote on the license that a temporary casino would open in a former mall July 8, the station reported.
In 2020, the Virginia General Assembly approved legislation to allow developers to build large casino resorts in five cities – Norfolk, Bristol, Portsmouth, Danville and Richmond – in what supporters billed as a way to boost struggling economies.
Potential operators had to first clear a voter referendum. That happened in every city but Richmond, which rejected the initiative last year. But city officials have mounted an effort to bring the issue back a second time.