PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia’s first free-standing casino is set to open in Portsmouth this month. As workers put the finishing touches on the construction, the city is preparing for both the benefits and the new challenges the casino will bring.

“Safety and security of the facility and the surrounding area has been one of the top topics,” said Portsmouth Mayor Shannon Glover.

Given the recent spike in crime in Portsmouth, 10 On Your Side wanted to know what was being done to ensure the safety of those who attend the casino — specifically, those who win a lot of money.

“If you win – or when you win – there will be someone to escort you to your vehicle,” Glover said.

He also mentioned safety lighting and a police substation at the new Rivers Casino Portsmouth, along with training for a specific incident.

“One of the big things we discuss was active shooter,” Glover said.

“It is a big open area. Making sure from the point of entry that people are checked, that bags are checked, that we have all the security features in place that will enable us to ensure that the inside environment is a totally safe environment,” he said.

The casino is set to open on Monday, January 23, at 10 a.m.