AMHERST COUNTY, Va. – A Rosie’s Gaming Emporium will not be coming to Amherst County.
On Election Day, voters rejected the referendum to bring the gaming emporium to Madison Heights, which would’ve been up and running in about two years if approved.
Thirteen out of 14 precincts were included in the vote, with 13,338 people voting in total.
Election results show that 7,211 voted against it while 6,127 voted for it.
“It is not often you get a company that’s going to come in and revitalize a strip mall that hasn’t had any love in a long time and spend $28 million to revitalize, build some new things [in the strip mall],” said Victoria Hanson, executive director of economic development for Amherst County.
We’ve reported in the past that the $40 million project was slated to bring in about $2 million in tax revenue for the county, 100 jobs, 150 slot machines, per economic development estimates.
“Without additional revenue, your choices are often to either cut back on those services [including school funding and emergency personnel], which is usually not a choice people want to make; or raise taxes. So, it’s a lost opportunity in many different ways, and that is very disappointing.”
However, others feared that it would cause an increase in crime and drunk driving.
Statement from Aaron Gomes, Chief Operating Officer of Colonial Downs Group:
“Colonial Downs Group and Rosie’s Gaming Emporium are disappointed with the outcome of the referendum in Amherst County. We would like to thank those who supported our effort, including the entire team at the Amherst Economic Development Authority; Supervisors Claudia Tucker, Jimmy Ayers, and Tom Martin; and the residents who helped us get on the ballot this summer. Other Virginia localities will continue to benefit from the jobs we provide, taxes we generate and partnerships we develop in the community. We welcome Amherst residents to come visit us in Vinton, Collinsville, Richmond, Dumfries, New Kent and Hampton.”