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Virginia Casinos Report $63.7 Million in May Revenue

Virginia’s casinos generated $63.7 million in gaming revenue in May, up from April’s $60.1 million. Rivers Casino Portsmouth led with $26.9 million, while Hard Rock Bristol prepares for its permanent site opening later this year, potentially boosting revenue further.
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Branimir Ivanov | Senior News Contributor

Updated: Jun 18, 2024

Virginia Still Goes Up

 

Richmond, VA — The Virginia Lottery's May casino revenue report revealed a positive uptick in gaming revenue, as the state's three licensed casinos generated a combined total of $63.7 million. This marks an increase from April's $60.1 million and highlights the growing role of casino gaming in the state.

 

Key Highlights:

  • Total Gaming Revenue: Virginia’s three licensed casinos reported a combined gaming revenue of $63.7 million in May, up from $60.1 million in April. This improvement indicates a favorable trend for the state's casino sector, despite broader concerns about the stability of gaming revenues.
  • Leading Casino: Rivers Casino Portsmouth led with an adjusted gross revenue (AGR) of $26.9 million. This positions the casino as a significant player in the Virginia gaming market, surpassing its counterparts in revenue generation.
  • Upcoming Developments: Hard Rock Bristol is set to open a permanent site later this year, which is expected to boost its revenue. This development is anticipated to enhance the casino’s capacity to attract visitors and generate higher earnings.

 

Breakdown of Casino Revenues

Rivers Casino Portsmouth topped the list with $26.9 million in AGR for May. This figure represents the highest share of the state's total casino revenue, underscoring Rivers Casino's strong market presence and operational efficiency since its opening on January 23, 2023. The casino’s consistent performance reflects its effective customer engagement strategies and ability to maintain a steady influx of patrons.

Caesars Virginia followed with $20.2 million in AGR. Approved by the Virginia Lottery Board in April 2023, Caesars Virginia opened a temporary facility to the public on May 15, 2023. Despite its recent entry into the market, Caesars Virginia has rapidly gained traction and is expected to further establish itself as a major contributor to the state's casino revenue.

Hard Rock Bristol contributed $15.4 million in AGR for May. The temporary facility, which opened on July 8, 2022, has been operational for nearly two years. While its current revenues reflect its limited capacity, the upcoming permanent site is anticipated to significantly bolster its earnings and enhance its competitive position in the market.

 

Tax Contributions

The Virginia Lottery reported that $11.3 million from May's gaming proceeds was allocated to the state’s Gaming Proceeds Fund. This fund is crucial for supporting various state initiatives, including the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund, the Family and Children’s Trust Fund, and the host cities of the casinos. The allocation of these funds plays a vital role in addressing community needs and supporting public services.

  • Rivers Casino Portsmouth contributed the largest share with $4.8 million. These funds are expected to support local development projects and enhance public services in Portsmouth.
  • Caesars Virginia followed with $3.6 million, contributing significantly to the local economy and state programs.
  • Hard Rock Bristol contributed $2.7 million. For Bristol, a portion of these funds is designated for the Regional Improvement Commission (RIC), which oversees the allocation for regional development and infrastructure improvements.

 

Future Outlook and iGaming Potential

Virginia’s casino industry, while showing resilience, has faced a general trend of declining revenues. Analysts suggest that legalizing online casinos could provide a sustainable boost to the state's gaming revenues. Online casinos have seen increasing popularity nationwide, often surpassing traditional land-based casinos in terms of traffic and revenue generation. The potential introduction of iGaming in Virginia could align with these national trends and offer a new revenue stream for the state.

As of now, Virginia lawmakers have not proposed any iGaming bills. This delay in legislative action means that any potential benefits from online casinos are not yet realized. However, industry observers remain optimistic about future developments. The upcoming permanent site for Hard Rock Bristol, expected to open later this year, might rejuvenate the casino's performance and provide a boost to the local gaming market. Hard Rock Bristol has shown a fluctuating but gradually increasing revenue trend since March, peaking at $16.27 million before a decline in April to $13.94 million, and then rising again to $15.4 million in May. The new facility is likely to enhance its attractiveness to visitors and increase its revenue potential.

 

Conclusion

The Virginia Lottery’s report for May demonstrates a slight but encouraging growth in casino gaming revenue. The increase from April’s figures suggests a positive trend, though the broader industry challenges remain. With Rivers Casino Portsmouth leading the pack and the anticipated opening of Hard Rock Bristol’s permanent site, the state’s casino industry holds a promising outlook. The consideration of legalizing online casinos remains a potential avenue for future revenue stabilization and growth, though it would require legislative support and careful implementation.

As Virginia’s gaming landscape evolves, stakeholders are keenly watching the developments, hoping for both immediate improvements and long-term sustainability in the industry. The introduction of new facilities and potential regulatory changes could play significant roles in shaping the future of Virginia’s casino market.

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