The Virginia Lottery Board issued a facility operator’s license to Hard Rock Bristol Wednesday, which is now set to become Virginia’s first casino.

In a statement, the casino operators were excited about this new opportunity in Virginia:

“We are excited by the VA Lottery Board’s action today granting a license to open Virginia’s first casino in Bristol subject to the completion of outstanding operational activities,” stated Jon Lucas, Chief Operating Officer, Hard Rock International. “We appreciate the VA Lottery’s assistance and diligence in working closely with our team over many months to reach today’s important milestone for Bristol, Southwest Virginia and the Commonwealth. ‘Bristol Casino – Future Home of Hard Rock,’ a temporary full-service casino, will open on Friday, July 8, 2022. The project will bring 600 jobs to Bristol and will feature 30,000 square feet of casino space, with 870 gaming slots, 21 tables and a sportsbook for a variety of gaming options.”

A temporary casino is set to open inside the former Bristol Mall on July 8. It will be located in the old Belk building. The full casino is expected to open sometime in 2024. The Lottery Board is now reviewing applications for three more proposed casinos in Danville, Norfolk and Portsmouth.