Opinions mixed about possible off-track betting venue in Danville

Rosie's Gaming Emporium interested in coming to Danville

DANVILLE, Va. – In about six months, the fate of off-track, pari-mutuel betting in Danville could be decided.

A petition has been filed to allow Danville voters to go the polls in November and say yes or no to Rosie's Gaming Emporium coming to the city.

Danville resident Bill Smith is undecided about gambling establishments in the city.

"The bad side is, people get addicted, like drugs and all that. Although, there is a difference, obviously. The good side is, of course, if you like to use it for entertainment or raise money for the city," Smith said.

Danville resident Willie Osborne, though, has already made up his mind.

"I don't think it'll be good for Danville because I think it'll take money out of children's mouths, and then it'll have more crime."

He admits that gambling establishments would create jobs and generate money for the city, but he's still opposed to them.

City Manager Ken Larking isn't advocating for or against gambling establishments but says Rosie's interest in Danville could be beneficial for the city.

"I think any time a company has identified Danville as a great place to do business, it helps spread that message around to others," Larking said.

Rosie's would be in addition to the casino that could open in the near future.

So, does this mean that gambling is going to become a big industry in Danville?

"It's hard to know whether that would be a big industry," Larking said. "I think having a diverse economy is important."

The petition has to get a minimum of 1,403 signatures by Aug. 1 in order for a referendum to go to voters.

As of Friday, Larking said, Rosie's had not decided on a location in the city or an opening date.

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