Danville Casino, a temporary tent casino one hour from the Triangle, opened Monday in Danville, Virginia. The temporary casino gives visitors a taste of the full-scale Caesars Virginia Casino scheduled to open next year.
The temporary 40,000-square-foot tent structure lies adjacent to the construction site of the future Caesars Virginia.
Danville Casino will stay open 24/7, offering 740 slot machines, 25 live table games, 28 electronic games and a Caesars Sportsbook with eight self-service kiosks.
Three Stacks, a quick-serve restaurant featuring American cuisine, will be open around the clock.
Full-scale Caesars casino coming late 2024
The $650 million permanent casino being built by Caesars Entertainment and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, who also own two casinos in North Carolina, should be completed by late 2024.
When the gaming resort does open next year, it will include a state-of-the-art casino with 1,300 slot machines, 85 table games, a WSOP Poker Room and a Caesars Sportsbook. The competition could draw from the NC poker market.
The complex will also feature a 500-room hotel, a 40-000 square-foot conference center, multiple restaurants, and a 2,500-seat entertainment center.
In the works as future options are an outdoor family entertainment area and a Top Golf Swing Suites as well as a multiplex theater.
For now, Danville Casino gives North Carolinians in Greensboro and the Triangle a convenient casino option one-to-two hours from home by car.
North Carolinians To Benefit From Danville Casino
The city of Danville sits on Virginia’s southern border with North Carolina, 45 miles northeast of Greensboro and 100 miles northwest of Raleigh-Durham.
Its location is prime for gaming enthusiasts from the Tar Heel State and the Triangle.
Plans for the construction of a casino in Danville began in 2020. In 2019, the Virginia Legislature approved commercial casinos to be regulated by the Virginia Lottery. As such, the Virginia Lottery Board approved a license for Caesars Virginia to build a casino in Danville.
One of the goals was a slam dunk: give folks in North Carolina easier access to legal gaming.
The region’s large population centers are predominately south of Danville, in North Carolina. However, the casino hopes to attract customers from the greater region.
“We’re gonna attract customers from all around, certainly within the general region here, Virginia, North Carolina, but from really all around different communities. We’re really excited to provide an asset here that we’re really proud of,” Chris Albrecht, general manager of Caesars Virginia, told CBS-17.
According to Albrecht, 400 jobs have been secured at the temporary location. The plan is to at least double that number once the permanent casino opens.
Brandy Lynch, director of the Person County Economic Development Commission, also sees the new casino in Danville as a boon for the community.
“We have lots of recreation, lots of shops, lots of restaurants in Person County that it will bring business to,” she said. “And, we are so close to Virginia, and we pull from their workforce, and they pull from our workforce. To me, what’s good for them is good for us as well.”
In anticipation of drawing in large crowds, Danville Casino has been training dealers for its table games since last February. More than 100 since the start of the year.
The casino in Danville is one of four opening in the state. The others are in Bristol, Portsmouth and one expected in Norfolk in 2024.
Tar Heel State not without casino options
While commercial casinos in North Carolina are illegal, the state does have three brick-and-mortar casinos. But still, unlike a handful of other states, NC visitors are residents cannot play mobile apps such as FanDuel online casino in NC.
The casinos in North Carolina include the two Harrah’s Cherokee properties in Cherokee and Murphy in the western part of the state – Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River – and the Catawba Two Kings Casino near Charlotte.
Insomuch as the Danville casino project is an exciting endeavor, it is also competition for the tribal casinos in North Carolina. This is mainly due to location and ease of access. The two Cherokee casinos are 300 miles or more from Raleigh-Durham and 160 miles or more from Charlotte. Catawba Two Kings is only 35 miles from Charlotte, but still much further than Danville from Raleigh-Durham.
For that reason, stakeholders in the Tar Heel State will be closely monitoring the impact the Danville Casino will have on North Carolina tribal gaming. There does not seem to be an appetite for legalizing commercial casinos this legislative session. Still, if Virginia proves a significant draw for North Carolina gamblers and casino employees, the legislature may turn to the question of legal commercial casinos in 2024.