The first fully-fledged casino to open in Virginia has reported brisk business through its first week of trading, with Hard Rock’s Bristol casino building on the positive vibes from its initial soft opening to take in upwards of $37.5 million in its first full week of trading. This news will have made particularly sweet reading for the state treasury, which is understood to have benefited to the tune of more than $600,000 in taxes from the first week alone.
The so-named Bristol Casino is the first brick-and-mortar casino to open its doors on Virginian soil, although it is set to be followed by facilities in three other cities – Danville, Norfolk and Portsmouth. This casino’s impressive early numbers will provide encouragement to the license holders at those two facilities, as well as demonstrating the proof of concept for the eventual permanent casino that will open in Bristol.
The current casino, for clarification, is a temporary facility that was opened with the intention of providing a taste of what the eventual permanent site will bring to Bristol. It will be more than twice the size of the current facility and is intended to provide more than twice as many jobs as the 600 that have been created by the Bristol Casino. In that light, the smart opening-week performance of the temporary facility is likely to create even more excitement around the opening of the permanent one.
As for those numbers, it’s interesting to drill down into what else the stats say about the opening week. For example, of the $37.5 million takings, somewhere in the region of 90% of that total came from the casino’s slot machines, with the rest coming from its table games. In terms of which games left players feeling more fulfilled, that also seems to have been the slots, which totalled a 90% return to player, ahead of the 87% that was achieved at the gaming tables.
In all, from the $37.5 million gambled by players across the first week of gaming in Bristol, $33.7million went back out in winnings. With a feelgood launch event, a solid tax take, the creation of new jobs and a lot of happy customers, the first week of the Bristol Casino could scarcely have gone better for its operators. There’s little doubt that this will have lit the fuse on anticipation for the facilities in Danville, Norfolk and Portsmouth, too.