Rush Street


News Release | Portsmouth, VA Posted on 02.05.21


PORTSMOUTH, VA & CHICAGO, IL — Feb. 5, 2021—Rush Street Gaming, Portsmouth’s developer and preferred gaming operator for the upcoming Rivers Casino Portsmouth, has selected S.B. Ballard-Yates, a Joint Venture, as the general contractor to build its Portsmouth casino.  Ballard-Yates is a joint venture between local firm, S. B. Ballard Construction Company and national contractor Yates Construction. Rush Street understands the value of working with local businesses and is committed to providing opportunities for Hampton Roads firms like S. B. Ballard.

A legacy of success in the Commonwealth of Virginia, S.B. Ballard Construction Company (SBBCC) is a family-owned firm, founded in 1978 and located in Virginia Beach. When you work with SBBCC you gain an experienced local team who has well established relationships with the entire Hampton Roads Region. SBBCC is proud of their partnerships within the Hampton Roads and their seamless ability to maneuver through processes within every city. They have constructed over $1 billion and nearly 10 million sq. ft. of projects in the Hampton Roads area. They have helped shape the region’s vision of providing a fun, vibrant, entertainment and cultural community, with ample resources for its residents and guests. The projects SBBCC has constructed throughout the city have had a positive and profound impact on the residents and guests experience. “It’s a great privilege to be part of the Rush Street Gaming team that will deliver this transformational project to the city of Portsmouth and the region,” says Stephen B. Ballard, president/CEO.

Yates Construction, headquartered in Philadelphia, MS, is family-owned and provides a wide range of construction and building services. Yates Construction has built over 250 hospitality and gaming related projects. Their experience includes resorts, casinos, luxury and boutique hotels, condominiums, convention/cultural facilities, and sporting venues. “In addition to our large business and local subcontractor and vendor programs, we are very proud of our commitment to and utilization of small businesses in the local markets,” says William G. Yates III, president and CEO.


Rivers Casino Portsmouth aspires to a goal of 30% of spend constructing the casino come from businesses that are either minority-owned or certified as a SWaM or DBE. “Rush Street Gaming has a long and proud record of diversity and inclusion throughout all its business operations nationwide,” says Delceno Miles, spokesperson for Rivers Casino Portsmouth.  “Rivers Casino Portsmouth will utilize minority, women and veteran-owned small businesses in every phase of its construction and operation,” says Miles.

To put that commitment of diversity and inclusion to action, there will be a virtual construction trade partner outreach on February 16, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EST. To register, go to Prospective sub-contractors will hear about bid opportunities, learn about SWaM certification with the Commonwealth of Virginia and have their questions addressed by the general contractor.

“We routinely surpass 50% of our contract spend with local small, minority, women and veteran-owned firms. S.B. Ballard strives to create an inclusive work environment that leverages the diversity of our partners and sub-contractors. We lead by example with a strong commitment to creating best-in-class projects, but also fostering opportunities for growth,” says Ballard.

“We have established a policy to afford Small Business concerns (SB), Small Disadvantaged Business concerns (SDB), Women-Owned Small Business concerns (WOSB), Veteran-Owned Small Business concerns (VOSB), Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business concerns (SDVOSB), Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Minority Institutions (HBCU/MI), HUBZone Small Business concerns (HUB), and Minority and Women Business Enterprises concerns (MWBE) opportunities to participate in our contracts,” says Yates.

Rivers Casino Portsmouth, a $300+ million local investment, will anchor the all-new Entertainment District planned for Victory Boulevard. Rivers Casino Portsmouth will bring 1,300 permanent jobs and 1,400 temporary construction jobs to Hampton Roads—with a Portsmouth First commitment to hiring and contracting, along with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the project. The property is projected to generate more than $16 million in new annual tax revenues for Portsmouth.

The new Rivers Casino includes plans for a hotel, indoor and outdoor concert venues, conference space, multiple restaurants and more.  Rivers Casino’s gaming floor will feature a wide variety of slots, table games, a poker room and a state-of-the-art BetRivers Sportsbook.

If the project receives necessary approvals from the Virginia Lottery board and the city of Portsmouth, groundbreaking could take place in 2021. Grand opening will occur approximately two years from the start of construction.


About Rush Street Gaming: Founded by Neil Bluhm and Greg Carlin, Rush Street Gaming and its affiliates have developed and operate successful casinos in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Des Plaines, IL (Chicago area) and Schenectady, NY. By placing an emphasis on superior design and outstanding customer service, Rush Street Gaming has become one of the leading casino developers in the United States. Existing casinos generate over $1 billion in annual gaming revenues, and all Rush Street Gaming casinos have been voted a “Best Place to Work” or “Top Workplace” by their Team Members.

Media Contacts:

Delceno Miles
For Rivers Casino Portsmouth
(757) 617-0019

Justin Ballard
S.B. Ballard-Yates
(757) 748-4251