Caesars Virginia at One-Year Mark Continues to Exceed Revenue Projections in Danville

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Caesars Entertainment is investing a quarter of a billion dollars in building an integrated resort casino in Virginia’s Danville just north of the North Carolina border. It’s a bet that the property’s temporary casino that opened a year ago this month is proving will pay off for the casino giant.

Construction on the permanent Caesars Virginia resort progresses in Danville. Caesars Entertainment is exceeding revenue expectations at its temporary casino, which opened a year ago this month inside a pavilion tent. (Image: Caesars Entertainment)

Caesars opened the Danville Casino, a pavilion tent gaming space, on May 15, 2023. With a year in the books, revenue reports from the Virginia Lottery Board, which oversees casino gaming in the commonwealth, reveal hearty business.

During the temporary casino’s first 11 months in business — May 2024 has not yet been revealed — the Danville Casino generated gross gaming revenue (GGR) of nearly $222 million. That exceeded preopening revenue projections and subsequently delivered considerably more local tax money for the City of Danville.

The Danville Casino opened with 740 slot machines and 25 live dealer table games. Today, it offers over 800 slots and 33 tables. Caesars says the temporary casino workforce has expanded from an original staff of about 400 team members to about 460 employees.

City Flush With Cash 

Being the host city, the Danville local government receives 6% of the casino’s monthly GGR as dictated by Virginia’s gaming law. Through April, that amounted to more than $13.3 million, far higher than what city officials projected to receive before the Danville Casino facility opened a year ago this month.

Danville City Manager Ken Larking said the city budgeted $13 million for the first 12 months of the temporary casino’s operation. With a month to go, the actual haul will likely be around $1.5 million richer.

Who would have thought a tent could generate so much visitation?” Larking pondered last week.

Larking said the casino money is being allocated for investments in education, workforce development, economic incentives and opportunities, public safety initiatives, and an overall improved quality of life for Danville residents.

“We continue to be pleased with Caesars,” Larking added.

Caesars officials are pleased, too. The company has repeatedly raised the overall investment of the forthcoming permanent casino, which will be called Caesars Virginia.

Caesars initially planned to spend $400 million when the project was authorized in November 2020. The budget ballooned to $500 million by September 2021 and to $650 million by August 2022. Earlier this month, the construction costs were again raised, this time to $750 million.

While company officials have cited inflation that has significantly raised the cost of materials and labor, the strong performance of its temporary casino has presumably made the larger budget a bit easier to swallow.

‘Big Bad Boy’ Forthcoming

Caesars Virginia is the largest and most expensive casino project under construction in the state.

Dubbed the “big bad boy” by Barron Fuller, Caesars’ president of regional operations, the permanent integrated resort will feature 320 hotel guestrooms and a casino floor with over 1,300 slot machines, 85 live dealer table games, 24 electronic table games, a World Series of Poker Room, and a Caesars Sportsbook. The resort includes a full-service spa and resort-style pool, several restaurants and bars, a 2,500-seat concert venue, and more than 50,000 square feet of convention and meeting space.

Once open, expected before the end of the year, Larking says the Danville City Council assumes receiving $25 million annually from the casino. The permanent resort will employ around 900 full-time workers.

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