Caesars’ temporary casino in Danville opens its doors at 10 a.m. Monday ahead of the permanent facility that is still under construction and slated to open in late 2024.
Here’s what guests can expect when they visit the Danville Casino, which will operate 24/7.
It’s a 40,000-square-foot space, located inside a semi-permanent tent at 1100 W. Main St. There are three lots for guest parking: one directly in front of the tent and two across West Main on the other side of the street.
After parking, guests will come through the main entrance, facing West Main Street, and go through security, which consists of an ID check.
Then, the 740 slot machines, 25 live table games and 28 electronic table games will be at their disposal. Live table games include blackjack, roulette and baccarat; electronic table games include blackjack, roulette and craps.
The slots are front and center when you walk in the main doors, and through them is the table game area.
To the left is Three Stacks, a quick service restaurant that will serve American fare and is named for three brick smokestacks that remain on the site from Danville’s Dan River Mills days. Next to Three Stacks is the bar.
The Caesars Rewards Center will provide guests with the opportunity to join Caesars’ customer loyalty program and earn rewards credits. There will also be eight Caesars Sportsbook self-betting kiosks for sports betting at the Danville Casino.
Smoking will be allowed throughout the facility, said Jireh Moore, social media and public relations specialist.
The temporary facility has created more than 400 new jobs, said Carmen Kesel, director of marketing.
“There’s been a great turnout for training and recruitment,” she said.
Caesars has prioritized including local residents on its staff, implementing opportunities like the dealer training academy, where people were trained to deal blackjack, Texas Hold ’Em, three-card poker and other games. Kesel said that the dealer school instructors have spoken very highly about the trainees and the success of the program.
There was a dry run for new dealers on May 6, when they got to practice their newly acquired skills by dealing cards to each other, Kesel said.
“I’m sure a lot of the table games staff is really excited, and nervous, too, because they’re on stage now,” she said.
The temporary facility is a good way to ensure that dealers and other employees are totally ready when the permanent casino opens, Kesel said. It will make the transition as seamless as possible, she said.
The temporary casino held a soft opening for community stakeholders May 9 and a VIP sneak peek for VIP Caesars Rewards members May 11.
The grand opening, which will be held outside the front entrance, will include live entertainment and a few speakers.
Kesel said she’s most looking forward to seeing everyone’s hard work pay off. “It’s exciting to see it all come together,” she said. “It’s been a lot of hard work and a lot of fun, and we’re really looking forward to opening.”
Moore said the most exciting part will be seeing people enjoy the Danville Casino.
“We’ve been doing a lot of work out in the community, speaking with various people, both locals and people from surrounding areas, and we’ve seen a lot of excitement,” Moore said. “To have people come in, for them to see this as a great addition to Danville, I’m very excited for that. I’m excited to see their reaction and the turnout.”
If the Danville Casino follows the trend set by other temporary casinos in Virginia, it will likely also increase excitement for the permanent casino — and not just among local residents.
The temporary casino in Bristol, which opened in July 2022 ahead of a permanent Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, brought in millions of dollars in tax revenue and visitors from 48 states in its first few months of operations.
Danville has similar expectations. The city expects to see $8 million in state-collected local gaming tax revenue from the temporary casino in its next fiscal year.
The permanent facility will have more than 1,300 slots, 85 live table games, 24 electronic table games, a World Series of Poker room and a Caesars Sportsbook. It will also include a 500-room hotel, a spa, pool, bars and restaurants, a 2,500-seat live entertainment theater and 40,000 square feet of meeting and convention space.
Caesars Virginia is a $650 million investment. The cost of the Danville Casino is not being disclosed by Caesars, Kesel said.
Including the 400 jobs that the temporary casino created, the permanent casino is expected to create about 1,300 permanent jobs. It will also create about 900 temporary construction jobs.
But first, the temporary casino is welcoming guests all day, every day starting at 10 a.m. Monday.
“Come be the first to try out our new slots,” Kesel said.