Ceasars opens new casino on the N.C. border

Spectrum News
Ceasars opens new casino on the N.C. border
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DANVILLE, VA —  Workers are putting the finishing touches on the lighting. Technicians are fine-tuning and activating hundreds of slot machines, making sure everything is working the way it should.

What You Need To Know

  •  Caesars is opening a 40,000-square-foot temporary casino in Danville, Virginia, about an hour from the Triangle and Triad

  •  North Carolina's casinos, run by the Eastern Band of the Cherokee and the Catawba Nation, are all in western North Carolina

  •  Caesars is looking to North Carolina for both players and workers at its Danville casino

  • Virginia regulators in 2020 gave the green light for four casinos along the state's southern border, including the one in Danville

A 40,000-square-foot tent serves as Caesar's new temporary casino in Danville, Virginia. It officially opens to the public on Monday at 10 a.m.

The casino is just over the border from North Carolina, a little over an hour from the Triangle and Triad regions of North Carolina.

Next door, on the sprawling site of an old mill on the Dan River, Caesars is building a 500-room hotel and casino resort. That’s slated to open sometime next year.

“We love the location we have here in Danville,” said Caesars Virginia General Manager Chris Albrecht. “We’re going to attract customers from all around.”

Danville is an old mill town on the Dan River, surrounded by rural farmland. The closest big markets for customers are the Triad and the Triangle south of the border in North Carolina.

“There are a lot of markets that are going to feed into our location,” he said. This will be the closest casino to central North Carolina’s population centers.

Caesars is also looking over the border to find enough workers to keep the casino going 24/7. The company held a job fair in Greensboro in March. Greensboro is about a 40-minute drive to Danville.

For the temporary casino, Caesars needs 400 workers to be fully staffed. Once the full resort opens in 2024, the company will need up to 1,000 employees.

The casino floor has the bright flashing slot machines and garish Las Vegas carpeting people would expect from a Caesars. There’s not a clock in sight. There are blackjack tables, roulette wheels, a sports book and hundred of slot machines.

Gambling remains illegal in North Carolina, with the exception of two Indian casinos. One is deep in the mountains of Cherokee County in the western tip of North Carolina. Another just opened a temporary casino in Gaston County as the Catawba plan for a bigger casino resort.

Virginia also has other casinos planned along the North Carolina border. The legislature in Richmond in 2020 approved four news casinos, all along its southern border, in Bristol, Danville, Portsmouth and Norfolk. 

The casinos will all offer a sportsbook, where people can bet on sports. The North Carolina legislature, in the last session and again this year, tried to legalize sports betting. But wagering on sports remains in illegal except in the two casinos in the western part of the state.

This year, the sports wagering bill passed the North Carolina House. It likely won’t come up in the Senate until after the casino-on-the state budget is approved, if at all.