NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Rosie’s Gaming Emporium in New Kent County officially opened its doors Tuesday morning. The grand opening brings a form of horse racing back to the Commonwealth.
When Colonial Downs reopened on Tuesday, it featured the closest thing to a casino in Virginia.
“I like animals, I like playing,” one patron said. “I pay my bills and come here to do my thing.”
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,” Colonial Downs General Manager John Marshall told 8News in March. “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 winner’s circle. Money generated on the machines will pay for the horse racing prize money. The horses start running in August.
The gaming facility is equipped with a full bar, restaurant and 600 slot-like machines. The facility is expected to bring in 15 million dollars for the state.
At Tuesday morning’s grand opening, hundreds flooded into Rosie’s with the hopes of winning some cash.
There were some big winners like Debra from Glen Allen. Debra traveled the distance to try her luck on the slot-like machines.
“I won 60 over here,” Debra said. “And then we left for a little bit and I came back over and played two dollars and about three times and then I hit the jackpot.”
Debra won $800. She told 8News it felt great to win.
Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums are also opening in Richmond, Hampton and Vinton.
Gaming in Virginia will be regulated and responsible, officials say.
“The joint legislative inaugural review commission is going to do a very comprehensive study about the impact of the gaming industry in Virginia,” Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment said. “To determine whether or not this is an appropriate direction for us to go.”
The 300 million dollar investment is bringing more than 800 jobs to the state. Financially it’s bringing in $25 million in state taxes, $17 million dollars in local taxes and $25 million to Virginia’s horse industry.