Triangle residents flock to opening of new Virginia casino

Jamiese Price Image
Tuesday, May 16, 2023
Patrons pack Virginia casino on opening day
The new casino in Danville, Virginia, was packed on opening day Monday with people, many from the Triangle, trying their luck at slot machines and live gaming tables.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- A new casino is open just north of the North Carolina-Virginia border.

It's the latest expansion of gambling and entertainment by the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians.

The new casino is in Danville, Virginia, fewer than 60 miles from Durham and is in a temporary space while construction wraps up on the permanent Caesars Virgina resort.

Inside, the casino was packed and slot machines were full, as were the live gaming tables.

On Monday, many patrons were people from the Triangle who were feeling lucky and made the drive.

Right now, visitors can place bets inside a 40,000-square-foot facility with more than 700 slot machines, 25 live table games, and sports betting.

RELATED: Virginia casino could mean big payoff for the Triangle

In less than two weeks, you will be able to place bets just across the North Carolina-Virginia border.

It is entertaining but also is an economic boost for Danville and the surrounding communities.

That effect is expected to be magnified by attracting Triangle residents to head north. A few told ABC11 that the location is the No. 1 draw.

"With inflation and everything, people want to find something close to travel to, and they want to enjoy themselves without having to drive or fly miles or a hundred miles away, so this is a perfect location," said Kendrick Mitchell of Durham.

Another Durham resident, Renn Buford, said, "Staying in motels here as opposed to Cherokee or (Las) Vegas, it's definitely nice."

Another drawing point for some Triangle residents is the job opportunities. Some people working on the casino floor came from as far north as Baltimore.

The permanent resort will feature a hotel, spa, entertainment venue, and convention space. It is set to open in late 2024.