Casino operator Hard Rock International (HRI) has inked a prospective deal to operate a Virginia gaming venue, assuming legislators authorize such activity within the state’s borders.
On Monday, HRI announced a partnership with Bristol Resort and Casino, a venture led by Virginia businessmen Jim McGlothlin and Clyde Stacy, which since mid-2018 has been pushing to build a gaming venue in the southwest portion of the state on the site of the shuttered Bristol Mall. The venue now plans to operate under the Hard Rock Casino Bristol moniker.
Virginia is of the few US states that have yet to authorize full-fledged commercial casino gambling within its borders, although this spring the Virginia Racing Commission allowed racetracks operated by Colonial Downs to begin offering ‘historical’ or ‘instant’ racing machines, which use virtual racing to mimic the mechanics of slot machines.
This spring also saw Virginia’s legislature approve a study bill on the potential fiscal and social impact of authorizing up to five casinos in specific cities, including Bristol. The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee has now issued its “appropriately conservative” findings, which show that the state could reap $262m in annual tax revenue if all five cities open casinos, assuming a 27% tax on gaming revenue.