Localities are big winners with $50K each after first month of casino operation

Bristol Herald Courier
Localities are big winners with $50K each after first month of casino operation

BRISTOL, Va. – The new Bristol Casino, Future Home of Hard Rock, generated nearly $12 million in adjusted gaming revenues during its initial month of operation.

Open for less than 23 full days during July, the Bristol Casino generated $11.717 million in adjusted gross revenue, or about $509,400 per day, according to the Virginia Lottery which released its first monthly casino gaming report this week. 

The Bristol Casino opened midday on July 8, in the former Bristol Mall, and has operated continuously since that time.

Its 870 slot machines generated $10.236 million in revenues, or 87.4% of the total. Its 21 table games generated $1.48 million in adjusted gross revenue, or 12.6% of the total, according to the report.

Unlike the state’s monthly sports book reporting, the casino information released this week did not disclose total wagers and winnings.

The Virginia Lottery didn’t immediately respond to questions regarding this additional information.

Last month, lottery officials revealed the Bristol Casino generated $3.74 million in adjusted revenues in its first week -- through July 14 – meaning the casino generated about $8 million in adjusted revenues during the month’s final 17 days.

The preliminary information revealed last month showed visitors to the casino wagered more than $37.5 million through July 14 and won $33.7 million. Of the $3.74 million adjusted revenue, slots generated 89.4% and table games were responsible for 10.6%, meaning table games grew in popularity during the second half of the opening month.

The temporary casino is expected to operate until mid-2024 when the larger Hard Rock Resort and Casino is expected to open. The permanent casino is scheduled to offer about 600 additional slot machines and more than double the number of table games.

Virginia law assesses a graduated tax on a casino’s AGR, or wagers minus winnings, and an 18% tax assessment generated over $2.1 million in taxes paid to the Gaming Proceeds Fund for the first month of activity.

Six percent of the gaming tax revenue, or about $703,000, will be distributed to the Regional Improvement Commission. That commission is tasked with setting priorities, dividing the revenue evenly and making annual payments to the city of Bristol, the city of Norton and the counties of Bland, Buchanan, Dickenson, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise and Wythe.

This first month’s installment means each locality will get about $50,217. Based on the first month, should that pace continue unchanged, each locality can expect to receive about $602,000 over a 12-month period.