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US – Rivers Casino Portsmouth brings in nearly $250m in gaming revenue over first 12 months

By - 24 January 2024

As it marked its first full year of operation, Rivers Casino Portsmouth was also celebrating generating nearly $250m in gaming revenue over the 12 months, creating more than $15m in tax revenue for the city of Portsmouth.

The casino opened its doors last January marking the commonwealth’s first permanent gambling facility.

In December, it saw its second-highest ever month of revenue of $23.8m just missing out on the $24.6m it made in February 2023, its first full month of operations.

Rivers Casino Portsmouth marked its first year on Victory Boulevard as Virginia’s first permanent casino with a historic Time Capsule Ceremony.  

The Saturday morning celebration featured remarks and time capsule presentations from Roy Corby, general manager of Rivers Casino Portsmouth; Tim Drehkoff, chief executive officer of Rivers Casino Portsmouth and Rush Street Gaming; Senator L. Louise Lucas, President Pro Tempore, Senate of Virginia; Speaker Don Scott Jr., Virginia House of Delegates; Shannon Glover, Mayor of Portsmouth; Dr. Marcia Conston, President of Tidewater Community College (TCC); and Melissa Ramsey, director of community relations, Rivers Casino Portsmouth. 

The sealed time capsule, which will be buried until January 23, 2073, near the casino’s water feature, encapsulates significant artifacts, including a groundbreaking shovel, ribbon-cutting scissors from the grand opening, items highlighting the casino’s one-millionth and two-millionth customers, and mementos from the casino’s first graduating class of table dealers made possible through its partnership with TCC. 

Five decades hence, when the capsule is opened, future generations will also find relics that celebrate other “firsts”— the signed bill authorizing casino gaming in Virginia from Senator Lucas, Virginia Senate’s first woman and first African American President Pro Tempore; and a gavel from Speaker Scott, Virginia’s first Black speaker of the House of Delegates. 

“Virginia boasts a rich history of pioneering achievements, and Rivers Casino Portsmouth is proud to join such a prestigious roster as the first-ever permanent casino in Virginia,” said Roy Corby, general manager, Rivers Casino Portsmouth. “We were delighted to have such trailblazing leaders join us to commemorate this milestone, as we send a message to the future about the origin of our world-class entertainment destination.”

Portsmouth Mayor Shannon Glover closed the ceremony with a proclamation declaring Rivers Casino Portsmouth a strong economic engine, a proud community partner, and a great place to work. 

The history-making moment, which concluded with a celebratory lunch, kicks off a series of anniversary events that will continue in the week ahead, including Tuesday, January 23 — Rivers Casino Portsmouth’s official grand opening date.

Other upcoming events include live performances in The Event Center featuring Kool & The Gang (Jan. 20) and Parmalee (Jan. 27), gaming floor promotions and drawings (Jan. 23-26), and an anniversary t-shirt giveaway (Jan. 25). For more information or to purchase tickets, visit RiversCasino.com.

With much fanfare, Rivers Casino Portsmouth opened its doors to thousands of enthusiastic guests on January 23, 2023 — committed to delivering a fun and exciting first-rate customer experience. The casino introduced a new industry to the region, creating 1,300 permanent jobs, with a focus on local hires.

With a $340m investment, Rivers Casino Portsmouth has significantly boosted the local economy — generating over $42m in state and local taxes within its first year. Importantly, the casino’s commitment to supporting local Virginia businesses, vendors, and suppliers has contributed approximately $10mannually in new local commerce. 

“Each Rivers Casino has made history in its own way, but only Rivers Casino Portsmouth has laid claim to ‘the first of its kind’ in the entire gaming jurisdiction,” said Tim Drehkoff. chief executive officer of Rivers Casino Portsmouth and Rush Street Gaming.  “Opening the first permanent casino in the Commonwealth of Virginia will forever be part of Portsmouth’s narrative and of ours. We’re very proud of that.” 

Along with its operating parent company, Rush Street Gaming, Rivers Casino prides itself on integrating seamlessly with its communities and serves as an ongoing partner in improving the quality of life in each of its host cities. Rivers Casino Portsmouth immediately embraced that culture of philanthropy and has dedicated over 1,000 volunteer hours and donated more than $861,000 to local nonprofit organizations. 

On October 17, Rivers Casino Portsmouth participated in “Rivers Gives Day of Service 2023” —  the company’s inaugural synchronized celebration of its longstanding community engagement where more than 6,000 Team Members across all Rivers Casino locations — in Pittsburgh, Pa.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Des Plaines, Ill. (Chicago area); Schenectady, N.Y.; and Portsmouth, Va. — dedicated their time to uplift their host communities.

As part of the casino’s first anniversary celebration, Team Members will participate in a service day on Tuesday, January 23, to support the Portsmouth Police Athletic League (PAL) and Portsmouth’s Safety Town, in collaboration with the City of Portsmouth Police Department.  

“Rivers Casino Portsmouth has been a great asset to the local community, and we deeply value their ongoing partnership.  The opening of the casino contributed to a drop in crime for the areas surrounding the property, thanks to the strong presence of security and surveillance inherent in casino operations, as well as the police substation located right on property,” said Chief Stephen Jenkins, Portsmouth Police Department.

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