According to a press release issued by the Virginia Lottery Board, Hard Rock Bristol has been issued the state’s first facility operator license.
Following “a comprehensive review of application materials and an extensive background investigation,” the lottery board voted by 7-0 to issue the license making Hard Rock the first casino operator to receive regulatory approval in the state of Virginia.
Ferhan Hamid, Virginia Lottery Board Chair said of the license application:
“Since enacted by the 2020 general assembly, the board’s priority for casino gaming in the Commonwealth is that it be conducted with integrity and in a responsible manner. Today’s approval reflects the confidence we have in the rigorous and conscientious review conducted by Virginia Lottery staff.”
The release states that Hard Rock Bristol will launch a temporary gambling facility that should be opened as early as July of 2022. The facility will feature 20 gaming tables and 900 slot machines along with a retail sportsbook.
Kelly Gee, Acting Executive Director noted:
“The Virginia Lottery has worked diligently for two years to build the appropriate regulatory structure for casino gaming. I am proud of the tireless work by our gaming compliance department and our legal counsel for conducting the necessary investigative work to assist the Board in its decision. There are still many steps to the finish line, but there is no doubt that this is an exciting time.”
Gina Smith, Virginia Lottery Deputy Executive Director of Gaming Compliance added:
“We will be on-site at the casino over the next couple of months observing the receipt of gaming equipment, reviewing internal controls, and ensuring full compliance with the regulations.”
The three other casino developments seeking regulatory approval will be located in Danville, Norfolk, and Portsmouth. These applications will be seen to over the coming months suggesting that Hard Rock Bristol could win the race to become the first casino to open in Virginia.