New Casino Launches On East Tennessee Border This Week

Posted on July 7, 2022 - Last Updated on October 29, 2023

Tennessee gamblers soon have a new reason for excitement. An additional casino option is launching on the east Tennessee border this week.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol debuts its temporary casino location in Bristol, Virginia this Friday.

Hard Rock Casino launches across Tennessee border

Plans for this Hard Rock casino have been in the works since the Nov. 2020 ballot when Virginians voted in favor of four new casinos being built on Old Dominion land:

  • Bristol
  • Danville
  • Norfolk
  • Portsmouth
  • Richmond

Hard Rock Bristol will be the first to launch while proceedings and construction continue at the other sites. Bristol’s new casino is located in the footprint of the city’s former Bristol Mall — a mere four-minute drive from the Tennessee border.

President Allie Evangelista will do the honors of opening the temporary casino’s doors to the public this Friday at 2 p.m. following a special grand opening event at 11 a.m.

Permanent Bristol casino on schedule for Summer 2024 debut

The permanent casino space remains on schedule to debut during the summer of 2024. The will feature a significantly larger casino floor along with a luxury hotel, three restaurants and a Hard Rock Live performance area.

The 30,000 square-foot gaming space will rest inside the Bristol Mall’s former Belk location and is scheduled to ultimately include:

  • 900 slot machines
  • 21 table games
  • Non-smoking gaming area
  • High-limit gaming area
  • Hard Rock Sportsbook
  • 3 restaurants
  • Live entertainment sports bar
  • Rock Shop merchandise store

Hard Rock Hotel Casino Bristol Model

Retail sports betting comes to Virginia

Those in Virginia can currently wager on sports anywhere online in Old Dominion. Thanks to the state’s new casino additions, a handful of retail locations will soon be added to Virginia’s options.

Sports bettors will soon find a home in Bristol via the Hard Rock Sportsbook — the state’s very first brick-and-mortar sportsbook. Tennesseans may be unfamiliar with this book since Hard Rock doesn’t operate in the Volunteer State. Virginia bettors, however, have already gotten a taste of the brand through its online sports betting app.

Hard Rock visitors can find five betting windows and 15 kiosks within the sportsbook, along with four additional kiosks dispersed throughout the casino floor.

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Alec Cunningham

As a college athlete, Alec Cunningham played Division II golf at Tusculum University. She graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Professional Writing. She then returned to her love of written word in 2000 after working in the music industry as a concert promoter, tour manager and artist developer. As a journalist, she's covered a variety of topics and currently specializes in Tennessee online sports betting and Virginia casino news. She served as a panelist at this year's All American Sports Betting Summit, discussing the ever-evolving role of women in the gambling industry.

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