In the midst of the 4th industrial revolution, we are presented with the task of reinventing ourselves within a dynamic market that seeks anything but coal mining.

Join us as over 25,000 individuals from 49 states gather in Bristol, Virginia for the grand opening of our state’s inaugural land-based casino, located in a repurposed abandoned mall.


All the gambling tax revenue, which is generated by the mothers who participate while their children are in school, will be divided among the 14 counties of southwest Virginia.

With the hope of revitalizing their economy, casinos are expected to make a significant impact. Despite resisting the temptation of gambling for years, the General Assembly finally approved a motion in 2020, allowing a few cities in the state to initiate this process. Leading the way, Bristol took the initiative and set the stage for a $400 million Hard Rock Casino and hotel, scheduled to commence operations in 2024.

Currently, Bristol may not appear to be a prime destination for wealthy individuals. Its poverty rate stands at 22 percent, which is more than twice the rate in Virginia. The median household income in the city is approximately $39,700, significantly lower than the statewide median of $76,400.

Since 1927, Bristol has been widely recognized as an entertainment hub. This reputation was established when the Carters descended from the mountains and produced the initial popular country music recordings in the area.

The struggling regions of the state are taking a high-stakes gamble with a $400 million investment in the Hard Rock Casino and hotel. Southwest Virginia, once reliant on coal jobs, has seen them nearly vanish, while the population continues to decline and age. This venture represents the region’s last opportunity to salvage itself.

Fred L. Ramey Jr., the city manager of Norton, expressed the significance of having a consistent annual income. He stated, “It is much needed and will greatly benefit numerous communities in this region.”

The rewards of this bet will only be uncovered with the passage of time, unlike the wagers made on online casino games.

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