Rendering of the future Hard Rock casino in Bristol. Courtesy of Hard Rock.

Hard Rock International has announced that its temporary casino in Bristol – ‘Bristol Casino – Future Home of Hard Rock’ will open July 8 at 500 Gate City Highway.

It will be Virginia’s first casino. Virginia law has allowed — and voters have approved — casinos in Danville, Portsmouth and Norfolk but none of those are open yet. Virginia law also allows a casino in Richmond but voters rejected that in a referendum last year. A second referendum will be held this November.

Construction work is underway on the Danville site, with an opening expected in 2023. Construction is underway for the Portsmouth casino, with an opening slated for February 2023. Construction has yet to start on the Norfolk casino, although developers are in talks with city officials there to open a temporary “limited gaming” site sometime later this year.

The ‘Bristol Casino – Future Home of Hard Rock’ is described as “a temporary full-service casino” with approximately 30,000 square feet of casino space, featuring approximately 900 gaming slots, 20 tables and a sportsbook for a variety of gaming options.  The temporary casino will have a store with Hard Rock merchandise and a display area showcasing the future Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Bristol that is currently under construction.  The space will include a main casino floor as well as non-smoking and high limit gaming areas.

There will also be a new restaurant, a “grab and go” food outlet, and a sports bar and lounge with entertainment along with an adjacent smoking sports lounge. The company says the temporary casino will create 600 jobs.