Rivers Casino Portsmouth Celebrates Grand Opening on Jan. 23, 2023

Portsmouth, VA, January 23, 2023 - 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 CaféMianSlice PizzeriaStarbucks; and opening later this year, Yard House — offering the world’s largest selection of draft beer.

"As Mayor of the City of Portsmouth, it is my great honor and privilege to welcome you to the grand opening of Rivers Casino. This facility represents the culmination of years of hard work and dedication from a team of individuals who came together to create something truly special; it is a meaningful addition to our city. I am very impressed and proud of the outstanding work accomplished here at Rivers Casino. This casino will be much more than just a place to gamble. This will be a place where people can come with their friends and family to have fun to socialize, and enjoy all the amenities and entertainment Rivers Casino has to offer. We are grateful to have Rivers Casino become a member of the 'Portsmouth Strong' family."
Shannon E. Glover|Portsmouth Mayor

More About Rush Street Gaming

Rivers Casino Portsmouth’s estimated annual payroll will be $62 million with a Portsmouth First commitment to build a diverse workforce and to hire locally. Without exception, all Rush Street casinos have been voted a “Top Workplace” by their Team Members.

In July 2020, The Virginia Lottery Board pre-certified Rush Street Gaming to operate a casino in Virginia. With the referendum now approved by residents, application for licensing is the next step. Rush Street anticipates opening within two years of receiving a gaming license from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“We thank the residents of Portsmouth, the City of Portsmouth, and the Portsmouth Economic Development team for their support,” said Neil Bluhm, chairman of Rush Street Gaming. “We’re eager to get construction underway, so this strong economic engine for the Commonwealth and the local community can start producing benefits.”

Rush Street Gaming is one of the fastest-growing gaming and entertainment companies in America. Through its affiliates, Rush Street owns and operates market-leading casinos in Des Plaines, Illinois (Chicago area); Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Schenectady, New York. Rush Street and its affiliates also developed the Fallsview Casino & Resort in Niagara Falls, Ontario, in close partnership with the Province; and Riverwalk Casino & Resort in Vicksburg, Mississippi, which was acquired by Churchill Downs in 2012.


Rivers Casino and Rush Street Gaming have a long and proud record of diversity and inclusion throughout all its business operations nationwide. Rivers Casino Portsmouth will utilize minority, women and veteran-owned small businesses in every phase of its construction and operation.

Rivers Casino Portsmouth will solicit local minority participation for 5% of the equity contribution or $5 million, whichever is greater, from minority-owned businesses or private investors who are minorities and, as required by securities laws, are accredited investors.

To avoid conflicts of interest, public-sector employees, elected officials at any/all levels of government, their spouses, dependents, and immediate family members are ineligible to participate as investors or owners.

About Rush Street Gaming: Founded by Neil Bluhm and Greg Carlin, Rush Street Gaming and its affiliates have developed and operate successful casinos in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Des Plaines, IL (Chicago area) and Schenectady, NY. By placing an emphasis on superior design and outstanding customer service, Rush Street Gaming has become one of the leading casino developers in the United States. Existing casinos generate over $1 billion in annual gaming revenues, and all Rush Street Gaming casinos have been voted a “Best Place to Work” or “Top Workplace” by their team members.

Please contact the Rush Street Gaming team for information about getting involved with Rivers Casino Portsmouth:

For Jobs - port.jobs@rushst.com

For Vendors - port.vendors@rushst.com

For Contracting - port.info@rushst.com

Visit RiversCasinoPortsmouth.com for more information.

April 18, 2023 Press Release - Rivers Casino Portsmouth Continues Commitment to Environmental Sustainability Ahead of Earth Day
March 15, 2023 Press Release - Rivers Casino Portsmouth Generates More than $24.5 million in First Full Month
March 14, 2023 Press Release - Rivers Casino Portsmouth Joins Annual City-Wide Cleanup
January 23, 2023 Press Release - Rivers Casino Portsmouth Grand Opening Ceremony
January 23, 2023 Press Release - Rivers Casino Portsmouth Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
January 18, 2023 Press Release - Rivers Casino Portsmouth Charity Test Night
December 12, 2022 Press Release - Rivers Casino Portsmouth Selects Three Local Charities to Benefit from Gaming "Test Nights"
November 16, 2022 Press Release - Lottery Board approves license for Portsmouth Casino
October 4, 2022 Press Release - Rivers Casino | City of Portsmouth: Benefits that Rivers Casino Offers to Portsmouth Residents and Businesses
August 15, 2022 Press Release - Rivers Casino Portsmouth Unveils New Restaurants and Amenities
March 5, 2021 Let's Talk Business - Rivers Casino Portsmouth Informational Session
Nov. 4, 2020 Press Release - Casino Gaming Approved By Voters in Portsmouth
Oct. 28, 2020 Press Release - Rivers Casino Portsmouth Reveals Sportsbook Plans for Victory Blvd Venue
Oct. 23, 2020 Press Release - Rivers Casino Portsmouth Enhances Investment in Children's Museum of Virginia Through Education Initiative
Oct. 2, 2020 Press Release - Rivers Casino Portsmouth Joins the 2020 Bunny Hop 5K as Presenting Sponsor
Sept. 10, 2020 Press Release - Rivers Casino Portsmouth Hosts Virtual Informational Job Fair
Sept. 3, 2020 Press Release - Rush Street Announces Minority Ownership Program
July 21, 2020 Press Release - City of Portsmouth & Rush Street Gaming Unveil Enhanced Renderings of Planned Victory Blvd Casino
July 15, 2020 Press Release - City of Portsmouth Announces Pre-Certification Approval of Casino Gaming Partner
May 26, 2020 Press Release - Rush Street Gaming Announced as City of Portsmouth's Destination Casino Partner
Nov. 18, 2019 Press Release - Rush Street Gaming and City of Portsmouth Sign Casino Development Agreement