Virginia Lottery Board issues first facility operator’s license for casino in Bristol

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Posted at 5:56 PM, May 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-01 17:56:03-04

BRISTOL, Va. - The grand opening date of Virginia's first casino is inching closer and closer.

The Virginia Lottery Board issued an operator's license to Hard Rock Bristol, the state's first casino.

This follows a comprehensive review of application materials, an extensive background investigation, and a 7-0 vote.

“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,” said Board Chairman Ferhan Hamid. “Today’s approval reflects the confidence we have in the rigorous and conscientious review conducted by Virginia Lottery staff.”

“The Virginia Lottery has worked diligently for two years to build the appropriate regulatory structure for casino gaming,” added Acting Executive Director Kelly T. Gee. “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.”

As the new casino prepares to open, the Lottery’s Gaming Compliance Department will work closely as they prepare to open a temporary facility on the site of the former Bristol Mall in early July.

“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,” said Virginia Lottery Deputy Executive Director of Gaming Compliance Gina M. Smith.

The Lottery says they are continuing to review application materials for three more proposed casinos in Danville, Norfolk, and Portsmouth. Each was approved by voters in local referenda in November 2020.

Related: Portsmouth casino welcomed in groundbreaking ceremony