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Hard Rock agrees to operate proposed Bristol casino

BRISTOL, Va. – Hard Rock International has agreed to operate a proposed resort and casino in southwest Virginia.

The Bristol Herald Courier reports that the project's developer, Jim McGlothlin, announced the agreement Friday.

“Hard Rock’s iconic brand speaks to its deep roots in live music entertainment and world-class memorabilia collection, which will play a prominent role at Hard Rock Casino Bristol,” said McGlothlin. "This focus on music will complement our region’s country music heritage and dynamic music scene in the Twin City.”

Hard Rock operates casinos throughout the country and overseas.

Gambling interests have pushed hard for state lawmakers to legalize casinos in Virginia. So far legislators have largely punted on the issue.

Bristol is one of a handful of Virginia localities hoping to build a new casino.

The legislature’s watchdog agency is set to release a report on gaming Monday and lawmakers are expected to debate the issue during next year’s legislative session.