PORTSMOUTH, Va. — One month before the grand opening of Rivers Casino Portsmouth, 13News Now got an inside look at how construction is going.
The sprawling $340 million gaming and entertainment venue will open its doors to the public on Jan. 15. When everything comes together, it will be Virginia’s first full-service permanent casino, Rivers Casino Portsmouth General Manager Roy Corby said.
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“Progress is being made on this every day," Corby said. "Table games will start to come in at the end of this week and then it will really look like a finished casino at that point as you see slots and tables in the positions that they’re supposed to be.”
There is still a lot of work left to do and only 28 days to get it done, but the casino's executives are more than confident everything will be finished in time.
“1,448 slot machines, 57 tables, 24 poker tables, five restaurants and bars," Corby said.
There will be a lot of action. The space includes a poker-only room, a live music venue called the sound room, and conference spaces to host weddings, events, and parties.
Corby said the Sportsbook is a big part of the casino, featuring a massive 750 square-foot video screen and Top Golf suites on the second floor.
“Really the center of the casino. This bar will probably be the busiest bar in the property," Corby said.
A lot is still under construction, like the casino's restaurants that still need furnishings.
Almost all the casino’s slot machines and table games are in-house, but not quite in place. Corby said they're still installing the surveillance system.
But all the big things are done and everything will be open on day one. Corby said providing different options for gambling, eating, and entertainment is a priority for the casino and so is security.
“We have a state-of-the-art surveillance system, security patrols throughout the parking lot, and over 1,000 surveillance cameras," Corby said.
Construction crews officially unveiled the Rivers Casino Portsmouth sign today, signaling the casino will soon be open for bets.
“Being the first in the state really sets a tone of what the host community should expect from a casino partner, what amenities should they expect, what level of service, what level of safety should they expect," Corby said. "Working with the state of Virginia, the Virginia lottery board, to get a lot of these things done and accomplish it has been a fantastic voyage.”
The casino’s convention center is already set to host Portsmouth’s State of the City event next year.
A hotel is also in the works but there’s no timeline for construction on that just yet.
Before the Jan. 15 grand opening, the casino will open for two charity nights on Jan. 10 and Jan. 12. Those charity nights will benefit CHKD, USO, and the Wesley Community Center.
The casino is still hiring. There is a job fair set for Thursday at the Holiday Inn Virginia Beach on Greenwich Road. It starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m.