Virginia casino license issued to Hard Rock Bristol

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The first commercial casino license to be issued in the state of Virginia has been given to Hard Rock Bristol.

After decades of staunch gambling opposition things changed in Virginia in 2020 after the Virginia General Assembly and the Governor signed House Bill 4 into law. The bill allowed the development of casinos in specific cities that met set requirements.

Bristol was one of these cities along with Richmond, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Danville. Local ballot referendums were required in all approved cities, and only the voters of Richmond voted against a casino development.

Earlier this week Bristol became the first casino development to receive approval from the Virginia Lottery Board after Hard Rock Bristol was issued the first commercial casino license.

Hard Rock Bristol is a $300 million development that will see part of the Bristol Mall converted into a casino resort. A hotel tower will also be added during construction.

The Hard Rock Bristol will include 2,700 slots, 100 table games, a sports book, a 750-room hotel, a spa, retail shopping, a Hard Rock Café, and several restaurants and bars. The development will also include a 3,200-person concert venue, and an outdoor entertainment venue that will hold 20,000 people.

Under the current plans the fully finished Hard Rock Bristol casino resort will not be completed until sometime in 2025.

While the casino resort remains under construction a temporary casino will be opened in a 30,000 foot section of the former Bristol Mall that has been vacant since 2017. The temporary casino is expected to open in July and will include 900 slots, 20 tables games, and a sportsbook.

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