Hampton Roads Community News

Rivers Casino Portsmouth Is Now Open; State’s First Full-Service Permanent Casino

Rivers Casino Portsmouth celebrated its grand opening today—making history as the Commonwealth of Virginia’s first full-service permanent casino.  The event kicked off with a special performance by Norfolk State University’s “Spartan Legion” Marching Band.  The local musical ensemble recently appeared in the 2023 New Year’s Rose Parade.

The morning ribbon-cutting ceremony featured remarks from Roy Corby, general manager of Rivers Casino Portsmouth; Shannon Glover, Mayor of Portsmouth; Brian Donahue, director of Portsmouth Economic Development; Kelly T. Gee, executive director, Virginia Lottery; and Tim Drehkoff, chief executive officer of Rivers Casino Portsmouth and Rush Street Gaming.

“We’re excited to join such a vibrant community and to unveil this beautiful entertainment venue for all to enjoy,” said Tim Drehkoff, CEO of Rivers Casino Portsmouth and Rush Street Gaming. “We’re grateful to the community and to our Team Members for their support, and we’re looking forward to launching this strong economic engine for the region.”

At the ceremony, Rivers Casino Portsmouth was presented with its official casino operator’s license by Gina Smith, deputy director of gaming compliance at Virginia Lottery.

Rivers Casino Portsmouth also announced a donation to three local charity partners from proceeds during gaming floor test events on January 19 and 21.  Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters; USO Hampton Roads and Central Virginia; and Wesley Community Service Center each received $170,000 — representing a $510,000 total contribution from the casino.

Rivers Casino Portsmouth opened its doors to the public at approximately 10 a.m. on January 23, and guests in attendance were among the first to experience the casino’s 1,446 slot machines, 57 table games, 24 poker tables and myriad onsite dining and entertainment options.  Among several new restaurants are Admiral’s Steak & Seafood for high-end dining; plus, casual fare at Crossings Café, Mian, Slice Pizzeria, Starbucks; and opening later this year, Yard House — offering the world’s largest selection of draft beer.

Adding to the grand opening festivities were roving magicians, jugglers, acrobats, stilt walkers, cheerleaders, and other performers.

The Event Center, a 25,000 square-foot multipurpose grand hall and reception area may be rented for events. On Monday, Jan. 16, the Epsilon Nu Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. held its 18th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Luncheon at The Event Center as the venue’s first-ever event.  Rivers Casino Portsmouth supported as the presenting sponsor.

“We’re here to serve the community, our guests, and our Team Members,” said Roy Corby, general manager of Rivers Casino Portsmouth. “We’ll accomplish that mission by creating a stellar guest experience and becoming the entertainment destination of choice for Portsmouth, Hampton Roads, and visitors to our area.”

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Rivers Casino Portsmouth will operate 24 hours per day, seven days per week.  Guests must be over 21 to access the gaming floor. The casino offers approximately 2,000 onsite, security-surveilled parking spots. A permanent City of Portsmouth police substation also has been integrated into the facility.

Ribbon Cutting Photo: Courtesy
Aerial Photography: Tony Holobyte

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