It looks like Caesars Entertainment may bring a casino to Danville sooner than expected.
The company plans to open a temporary casino at Schoolfield the middle of next year — more than a year before Caesars Virginia plans to open its $650 million casino hotel resort in the same spot.
Caesars Entertainment executives mentioned the plans three times during a third-quarter earnings call with investors Tuesday.
“We’ve got temporary casinos in Columbus, Nebraska, Danville, Virginia, that will hit next year,” Caesars Entertainment CEO Thomas Reeg said during the call, according to a transcript.
Another Caesars executive, President and and Chief Operating Officer Anthony Carano, also referred to the company’s plans.
“We expect to open temporary casinos in both Danville, Virginia, and Columbus, Nebraska, by mid-year ‘23,” Carano said.
Danville City Manager Ken Larking confirmed the company’s plans during an interview Wednesday.
“The Caesars team told me they were working with the Virginia Lottery to have a temporary casino at the [Schoolfield] site,” Larking said.
Larking said he had no other details on the temporary casino.
By law, the casino must be located at the Schoolfield site, since that is the location that was listed in the casino referendum question Danville voters passed in November 2020, Larking said.
A casino coming earlier than anticipated to Danville means earlier-than-expected gaming-tax revenue from the project, as well.
“Certainly we would welcome additional tax revenue for the city,” Larking said. “Just like with every other operation, the cost of doing business is rising for city government.”
The Caesars Virginia casino, currently under construction, is expected to generate up to $38 million in tax revenue to the city after it is up and running in 2024.
Whiting-Turner is the contractor building the Danville casino resort. The firm also has constructed the Horseshoe Baltimore, as well as projects at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, The LINQ Hotel+Experience Las Vegas, Harvey’s Lake Tahoe and more.
Plans include a destination resort casino with a 500-room hotel.
The casino will feature more than 1,400 slot machines and table games, Caesars Sportsbook and WSOP Poker Room, a live poker room named for and carrying the spirit of the legendary World Series of Poker with 25 tables, Caesars Entertainment has said.
Meeting and convention space will total 40,000 square feet with an entertainment venue to accommodate up to 2,500 guests. There will also be restaurants and bars. Nine hundred construction jobs will be filled as well as 1,300 operational jobs.
In Southwest Virginia, Bristol plans to open its own casino after voters approved a similar ballot question in November 2020.
A temporary facility, dubbed ‘Bristol Casino – Future Home of Hard Rock,’ opened in Bristol in July.
The permanent $400 million Hard Rock facility is expected to employ more than 1,200 and offer patrons 1,500 slots, 55 table games, a 300-room hotel in phase one that can be expanded to 750 rooms, five restaurants, four bars and lounges, a sportsbook, and Hard Rock Live, and indoor venue for 2,300 that can be expanded for outdoor entertainment.