Voters to decide if Rosie's Gaming Emporium can open in Danville

Paperwork submitted to allow the issue to go to votes


DANVILLE, Va. – Gambling could be coming to Danville in a non-casino form.

With Danville's potential for a casino on hold, Colonial Downs is interested in opening a Rosie's in the city.

The Colonial Downs Group submitted paperwork with the city's clerk of court Thursday to start the process of a voter referendum to allow pari-mutuel wagering at a satellite facility in accordance with the state code of Virginia.

Simply put, if Colonial Downs can acquire signatures from at least 5% of qualified voters, the issue will be voted on in a coming election. If approved, Colonial Downs would be able to open a Rosie's, featuring slot machine-like Historical Horse Racing, or HHR, machines.

“Danville and Dumfries are both vibrant and emerging communities that are looking for the new kind of entertainment in Virginia that Rosie’s delivers. Those are the kinds of communities in which we want to be located, and we’re excited to go out and share with voters in both localities what we’re about and what we do and let them decide if they’d like to be home to one of our facilities,"said Aaron Gomes, chief operating officer of Colonial Downs Group.

“World-class horse racing is returning to Virginia, and we could not be more excited. When new communities approve pari-mutuel gaming at facilities within their borders, it will lift up the horse industry statewide, ensure more races at Colonial Downs and generate new jobs and revenue in these localities and all across Virginia,” said Debbie Easter, president of the Virginia Equine Alliance. “Our partnership with the Colonial Downs Group is a strong one, and we hope the voters of Danville and Dumfries will help this partnership to grow even further by voting yes for pari-mutuel wagering and gaming this November.”

Colonial Downs Group opened its first Rosie’s Gaming Emporium at Colonial Downs, with 600 HHR machines, in April 2019 and its second Rosie’s in Vinton, with 150 HHR machines, in May.

The next Rosie’s, with 700 HHR machines, will open in Richmond in June.

A Rosie’s is under construction in Hampton with a planned opening in the fall.

Each Rosie’s also features simulcast horse racing, a restaurant, a bar and a gift shop.

The Virginia Racing Commission has currently established a statewide cap of 3,000 HHR machines. 

About the Author: