Virginia: Caesars eyeing temporary Danville casino opening by mid-2023

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Virginia: Caesars eyeing temporary Danville casino opening by mid-2023
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Gaming and hospitality giant Caesars Entertainment is eyeing the opening of a temporary Danville, Virginia casino in mid-2023. Executives for the company mentioned the plans during a third-quarter earnings call with investors held Tuesday. The opening would come more than a year before the debut of the permanent $650 million Caesars Virginia resort.

Danville City Manager Ken Larking confirmed the company’s plans during an interview Wednesday, reports Danville Register & Bee. “The Caesars team told me they were working with the Virginia Lottery to have a temporary casino at the [Schoolfield] site,” Larking said, although no details on the temporary casino have been revealed.

Caesars officials mentioned the Danville plans a number of times during their latest call with investors, in which they also said the company expects a temporary Columbus, Nebraska to also open by mid-year 2023. By law, the Danville property must be located at the Schoolfield site given it was the location listed in the casino referendum question voters passed in November 2020.

The Caesars casino would thus be coming earlier than anticipated to Danville, which is welcomed news for the city. “Certainly we would welcome additional tax revenue for the city,” Larking told the cited source. “Just like with every other operation, the cost of doing business is rising for city government.”

Caesars Virginia is currently under construction, following groundbreaking in August. The permanent venue is expected to generate up to $38 million in tax revenue for the city after the property is up and running in 2024. The casino “will be a tourism engine and economic driver for Danville and the broader region,” Caesars said at the time of groundbreaking. 

Whiting-Turner, a firm that has also constructed the Horseshoe Baltimore casino, is the contractor building the Danville casino resort. Property plans include a 500-room hotel and a “world-class” casino gaming floor with over 1,300 slots, 85 live table games, 24 electronic table games, a WSOP poker room and a Caesars Sportsbook. 

In addition, the resort will feature a full-service spa, pool, high-quality bars and restaurants, a 2,500-seat state-of-the-art live entertainment theater and 40,000 square feet of meeting and convention space. Nine hundred construction jobs will be filled as well as 1,300 operational jobs.

Caesars Entertainment has teamed up with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) for the project. Caesars will serve as the manager of the casino, and is partnering up with EBCI and a local minority investor in the joint venture. In the meantime, the Caesars Sportsbook app is already live and available for download and registration throughout Virginia.

Anthony Carano, President and Chief Operating Officer for Caesars Entertainment, said in August: “We are excited to build a world-class Caesars resort in Danville with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, a valued partner of Caesars Entertainment for more than 20 years.”

“Caesars' diverse collection of destinations across the US is synonymous with unparalleled service, impressive benefits through our Caesars Rewards loyalty program, superstar entertainment talent and culinary excellence. We will bring these same phenomenal offerings to the Danville region for people to enjoy,” he added. 

The project was originally scheduled for completion in December 2023. Back in May, it was announced that it was going to be pushed back due to supply chain issues and labor shortages, with Robert Livingston, Senior VP for Development for Caesars Entertainment, describing the original date as “an unrealistic goal.”

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