Rivers Casino Portsmouth celebrates venue construction milestone

May 13, 2022

Rivers Casino Portsmouth commemorated the completion of the steel framing of its new venue with a Scandinavian topping-off ceremony on Tuesday.

The topping-off ceremony is an ancient tradition in Scandinavia which celebrates the completion of a building's vertical construction. The company previously celebrated its groundbreaking in December last year.

"We began moving dirt and setting the stage less than a year ago, and we are making great progress," said Justin Ballard of the S.B. Ballard Construction Company.

"Despite supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic, we are still on track to complete this project early 2023."

The Rivers Casino Portsmouth topping-off ceremony was parted into three main activities.

The most important of the main activities was the raising and hoisting of the Rivers-yellow steel beam. The activity marked the construction milestone of the venue. It was held briefly and ended with the beam bolted to the ground, followed by celebratory music. The beam was signed by the Ballard-Yates construction teams, Rivers Casino Portsmouth leadership, and local officials.

Several key people attended the ceremony and shared their opinion of the project, among them Rivers Casino Portsmouth's general manager Roy Corby, Mayor Shannon Glover, Senator L. Louise Lucas, and S.B. Ballard Construction Company's director of business development Justin Ballard.

The activity is then followed by a lunch for the entire construction crew. The feast was hosted by Rush Street Gaming, the developer and operator of the new Rivers Casino Portsmouth venue.

"Ballard-Yates shares our commitment to high-quality construction and timely delivery of Portsmouth's state-of-the-art casino, and we thank the entire construction team for their continued hard work and partnership as we make steady progress toward opening," said Roy Corby.

About the new Rivers Casino Portsmouth venue

The currently constructed Rivers Casino Portsmouth venue is located at Victory Boulevard and is set to open in early 2023. It will be a place for gaming and entertainment complexes with more than $300 million poured into the project. The venue will have a casino, BetRivers Sportsbook, premier restaurants, a live entertainment lounge, 300 rooms hotel, and an event center.

Following the construction, the company provides 1,400 construction jobs as well as 1,300 new permanent jobs.

"We will train for skill set. But we are looking for that passion," said Roy Corby.

The company announced its five job fairs, which will be held once per month for the next five months. The first was held recently on Thursday, May 12, at the Portsmouth Campus of the Tidewater Community College. The first fair focused on the training of table games and dealer school.

"What lured me here was … the great reviews I heard of this place," said Arlicia Edwards, one of the job-seekers who attended the fair on Thursday. "This could be awesome that I could learn from entry-level and work my way up."

"I did not apply for this position just to fill it. I am in it for the career. I am confident in my abilities that I can work solo, or with a team. To the best of my abilities," Edwards said.

The casino received a high number of applicants, with 1,200 online and 500 walking in on Thursday's fair. It required around 250 dealers, 70 security officers, as well as 200 waitresses and bar staff.

Jake Williams
Jake Williams is a sports gambling expert. He's been writing in the sports betting and DFS industry for over a decade. He specializes in MLB and NBA, along with College Basketball and College Football.