Posted on: January 27, 2023, 02:15h.
Final up to date on: January 27, 2023, 03:41h.
Rivers On line casino Portsmouth made historical past this week in Virginia by changing into the primary standalone, everlasting on line casino to open within the state’s historical past. However the celebration was rapidly hampered by early friends who expressed considerations with the permittance of indoor smoking in sure elements of the gaming ground.
Chicago-based Rush Road Gaming opened its Portsmouth on line casino adjoining to the Tidewater Neighborhood School campus at a value of $340 million. The on line casino welcomed its first friends on Monday, Jan. 23.
Lengthy strains shaped forward of the on line casino’s debut. And whereas many friends had been in awe of the brand new facility, others took challenge with the tobacco smoke proliferating throughout sections of the on line casino ground.
The smoking challenge goes to show this on line casino right into a wasteland very quickly,” opined a Virginia Seaside resident who visited the on line casino throughout its first week in operation.
“I’m so upset that there’s smoking. There needs to be a small space, if any, for people who smoke. Come on, it’s 2023!” added a neighborhood on Twitter.
A lot of the suggestions has extra to do with the on line casino’s allowance of smoking than the on line casino’s precise points of interest and leisure. The on line casino’s social media channels have been flooded with anti-smoking feedback.
After this morning’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, we’re formally OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! The Grand Opening celebration continues all through the day, and the enjoyable by no means ends – Rivers On line casino Portsmouth is now open 24/7/365!
Playing Downside? Name 1-800-GAMBLER. pic.twitter.com/1h6ck8Q3HL
— Rivers On line casino Portsmouth (@RiversCasinoVA) January 23, 2023
On line casino Smoking Loophole
When Virginia handed its clear indoor air regulation in 2009, the laws offered exemptions for companies primarily depending on gaming.
On the time, Virginia solely permitted pari-mutuel wagering at horse racetracks and off-track betting (OTB) services. Horse racetracks and OTBs have allowed smoking ever since. Virginia’s smoking regulation permits gaming venues and casinos to designate “any half” of their facility for indoor smoking.
However with casinos interesting to a wider demographic, some imagine it’s time for Virginia to restrict the smoking regulation and prohibit indoor tobacco use inside casinos.
Together with Rivers On line casino Portsmouth, casinos are in growth in Norfolk, Bristol, and Danville. A fifth on line casino might sometime come to Richmond, and efforts are additionally underway to permit casinos in Petersburg and Fairfax.
Rivers Portsmouth Basic Supervisor Roy Corby says the on line casino took appreciable measures to restrict the unfold of smoke from the designated smoking sections. He identified that smoking isn’t allowed anyplace aside from sure elements of the gaming ground. Smoking isn’t allowed in any of the eating places, nor within the BetRivers Sportsbook, Sound Bar live performance venue, TopGolf Swing Suite, or poker site.
“These are the issues casinos actually give attention to getting proper, the casinos that wish to achieve success,” Corby advised 13News Now. “We understand an excellent portion of the inhabitants doesn’t smoke, and there are people who smoke who don’t essentially wish to scent like smoke on a regular basis or be round it.”
“The air flow methods … are cutting-edge. We spent loads of time on that,” Corby mentioned.
Charity Days Pay Off
Earlier than its opening to most people, Rivers On line casino Portsmouth performed two check days the place invited friends gambled with actual cash and gained actual money. However as an alternative of retaining its winnings, Rivers donated its proceeds to 3 native nonprofits.
Rivers mentioned the 2 check days resulted in a charitable contribution of $510,000. The Youngsters’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, Wesley Neighborhood Service Heart, USO Hampton Roads, and Central Virginia every acquired $170,000.