A rendering of the future Hard Rock Casino in Bristol. Courtesy of Hard Rock.

Updated May 3 to change number of table games.

The temporary Hard Rock Hotel & Casino opening in Bristol this summer plans to hire as many locals as possible for its 600-person team.  

The casino does not have exact numbers on local versus out-of-town hires yet, but the goal is to have locals as a “large majority” of the team, said Allie Evangelista, president of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol. 

“Applications are open to all interested parties,” she said. “However, our hope and expectation is to attract and hire as many local job applicants as possible.”

This process is already underway, as the casino is working to fill positions like dealers and security before it opens the temporary facility July 8. The permanent casino is scheduled for July 2024.

Hard Rock has already hired 36 people for its security department, Evangelista said. And 33 of those team members are local residents. 

“We do have training for those positions and typically attract applicants who have a professional background in either law enforcement or unarmed security,” she said. 

There is also training for people who hope to work as dealers at the casino. This means that no prior experience dealing is necessary. 

But applicants need to good at math, as passing a math test is part of the application process in addition to a face-to-face interview. An engaging personality is often common in this line of work as well. 

And unlike the fundamentals of a specific table game, personality cannot be taught at dealer training school, where successful applicants will go to get certified after the interview process. 

This certification ensures that dealers are ready for work when the casino opens and becomes the first casino resort in the state, Evangelista said. 

The sign for the temporary Hard Rock Casino in Bristol, which is scheduled to open July 8. Courtesy of Hard Rock.

Hard Rock Bristol will eventually have over 40 table games, though it will open with 22. 

There are 41 trainees who began a 10-week craps dealer training course April 25. And 17 more trainees will begin an 8-week roulette dealer training course May 19. 

All 58 of these trainees are Bristol-area locals. 

“We also are recruiting and hiring team members with prior dealer experience, and those individuals typically relocate from outside the region,” Evangelista said. “This is primarily because there are no casinos currently operating in Virginia.”

Of those relocating, Evangelista said the casino expects some to include employees who grew up in the area and are now moving back to pursue a career with Hard Rock. 

“However, we will try to hire local whenever possible,” she said. 

Hiring is less imminent for the Caesars Entertainment Casino coming to Danville, which is not expected to open until sometime in 2023. 

“Currently, we are laser focused on construction and look forward to officially announcing the general contractor soon,” said Robert Jarrett, director of public relations for Caesars Entertainment. 

The official renderings of the Caesars Virginia location, a $500 million resort, include 500 hotel rooms, a modern casino floor, restaurant, and 40,000 square feet of meeting and convention space. Caesars has said the Danville location will create “more than a thousand good-paying jobs.”

It’s unclear if Caesars Entertainment takes the same approach in Danville as Hard Rock has in Bristol – prioritizing local hires and opening jobs to everyone, regardless of experience. Anyone interested can apply for jobs for the Bristol Hard Rock location on the casino’s website: https://www.hardrockhotelcasinobristol.com/

For more casino news:

Small cities with casinos give advice to Bristol and Danville.

How big will Danville’s casino be? This big.”

Grace Mamon

Grace Mamon is a senior journalism and English student at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. She is the co-editor-in-chief of the university's independent student-run newspaper, the...