Colonial Downs wants to transform old Richmond Kmart into off-track horse betting parlor

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Off-track horse betting could be coming to South Richmond, if Colonial Downs has its way.

A spokesperson for Colonial Downs confirmed to 8News on Tuesday that it is looking to transform the site of the old Kmart on Midlothian Turnpike near Chippenham Parkway into an off-track horse betting parlor.

The site would house slot-like betting machines that would allow people to bet on past horse races without knowing which horse they are betting on.

During the most recent legislative session, Virginia lawmakers legalized historic horse race gambling as a way to help reopen Colonial Downs in New Kent. The shuttered horse track was later purchased by a Chicago-based company

Virginia Racing Commission has since published draft regulations that would allow for 3,000 slot-like betting machines to be installed at horse race track and off-track betting sites around the state.

The racing commissions draft rules would allow up to 700 machines at the track, with the rest at various off-track betting parlors.

Below is a full statement from a spokesperson for the track:

“The location on Midlothian Turnpike in the City of Richmond is attractive to us as a potential site for Historical Horse Racing (HHR) for a variety of reasons and we believe it would be welcomed by the community given how long that property has been vacant and deteriorating. However, we are in the process of evaluating proposed regulations for HHR across the Commonwealth and that process will ultimately dictate where and to what extent we can create jobs and revenues for local communities, Virginia’s horse racing industry and the state. Moving forward on any specific property transactions is contingent on the continued work of the Virginia Racing Commission and the Governor’s administration.”

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