NEW KENT, Va. (WRIC) — It’s been nearly six years since horses crossed the finish line at Colonial Downs.
Now horse racing is coming back to the Commonwealth.
Next month, when the New Kent County track reopens, it will feature the closest thing to a casino in Virginia.
Rosie’s Gaming Emporium will enable players to wager on slot-style historical horse racing machines.
“It’s a tremendous revolution so to speak for the industry,” says Colonial Downs General Manager John Marshall. “When we open Rosie’s in April, it will be bustling with a new audience to horse racing.”Rosie’s is anticipated to help bring Colonial Downs back into the winners circle.
Money generated on the machines will pay for the horse racing prize money.
The horses start running in August.
“This is really our identity. This is who we are and to become a sight again, a destination for all of Virginia right here in our backyard is oh so important to us,” explains New Kent County Economic Director Matthew Smolnik.
Visitors who come for the races might also spend money in the community. That could give New Kent a huge economic boost.Adds Smolnik, “Come to the horse track, come to Rosie’s and by the way, hit up our wineries or golf courses and just spend a day in New Kent County. See how beautiful it is out here.”
The Commonwealth can cash in too.
Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums are opening in Richmond, Hampton and Vinton.
That could put a lot of people to work.
“We’re going to be employing 800 individuals across the Commonwealth,” says Aaron Gomes, the Chief Operating Officer for the Colonial Downs Group.
Gomes anticipates Colonial Downs and the Rosie’s gaming centers will generate $25 million in state taxes each year.