BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) – The Virginia Lottery Board has approved a facility operator’s license for a temporary full-service casino to be located in the former Bristol Mall.

After an extensive background investigation, a 7–0 vote, and a review of application material, the board issued the license to Hard Rock Bristol to operate the first casino in Virginia, according to a release from the Virginia Lottery Board.

The board says that it has worked for two years to build the “appropriate regulatory structure” for casino gaming.

“We will be on-site at the casino over the next couple of months observing the receipt of gaming equipment, reviewing internal controls, and ensuring full compliance with the regulations,” said Gina M. Smith, the Virginia Lottery deputy executive director of gaming compliance.

Chief Operating Officer Jon Lucas of Hard Rock International says the casino will feature 30,000 square feet of casino space, have 870 gaming slots, 21 tables and a sportsbook.

The temporary casino, which will be called “Bristol Casino – Future Home of Hard Rock,” is set to open this summer and bring 600 jobs to the area.

The lottery board says it is continuing to review applications for three additional casinos that have been proposed in Danville, Norfolk and Portsmouth. More information on casino and sports betting regulations can be found at