Game on at Rivers Casino

State's first permanent full-time casino is open for business

by CoVa Mag | Mar 1, 2023

Rivers casino

At a media hard hat tour of Portsmouth’s new Rivers Casino back in December, more than 1,400 slot machines sat unplugged on a darkened gaming floor as the distinctive banging and buzzing of equipment being used by building crews to put the feverish final touches on the facility filled the air. Fast forward to the Casino’s grand opening events in late January of this year and those sounds had been replaced by the beeping and whirring and blinking lights of row after row of those same slot machines come to brilliant life—and of throngs of visitors who clamored for a chance to be among the first to experience the state’s first fulltime permanent casino.

Hopes are high for the Casino’s economic and cultural impact on Portsmouth and our region. As might be expected, there were a few hitches surrounding the opening including a slightly delayed open date, strong public reaction to smoking being permitted (quickly leading to the establishment of designated smoking areas), and a slow start on access to chips at the facility’s 75-plus gaming tables on the first of two pre-opening charity events. Now, the Casino is regularly welcoming seasoned gaming fans and curious first timers alike.

Run by Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming, Rivers Casino is open 24 hours a day and offers table games that include blackjack, roulette and craps, a dedicated poker room, live sports betting, entertainment and restaurants—located both within the primary gaming area and outside of it—including all-American Crossing Café, Mian Asian cuisine, Slice Pizzeria, Starbucks, Admiral Steak & Seafood and, coming soon, Yard House brewpub. An adjacent hotel is also in the works.

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