VINTON, Va. - Off-track betting on horse racing is scheduled to return to the Roanoke Valley after a five-year hiatus. The venue that’s reopening is touted as bringing in jobs, tax revenue and more business to Vinton.
Rosie's Gaming Emporium is scheduled to open in late April in the same location that closed down in 2014 -- near the Lancerlot Sports Complex on Vinyard Road.
10 News got a look inside Tuesday to see how construction is going. Crews still need to finish the walls, lay the carpet and bring in the furniture and gaming machines.
New ownership is pumping in millions into the location. The Colonial Downs Group leaders said the atmosphere will be the first aspect that will be different this time around. They want a fun environment that has an upscale, high-energy feel.
People will be able to watch and bet on live horse races going on in Virginia and around the country, and they can wager on past races on new machines. All the betting will be related to horse racing.
Company leaders said there are customers eager for the re-opening.
“There’s a great groundswell of support for horse racing in western Virginia, Roanoke and Vinton proper,” said John Marshall, Colonial Downs Group Senior Vice President. “They missed it when it went away and they’re anticipating the return.”
The company wants to hire 125 people to work at Rosie’s. It’s holding job fairs Thursday at the Virginia Employment Commission offices in Roanoke and Saturday at its Vinton office at 805 Hardy Road.
People can apply for full-time positions as gaming attendants, cooks, servers, bartenders, security and facility workers as well as positions in finance.
Company leaders said the benefits package is competitive.
The Rosie’s in Vinton is one of five gaming locations the company is opening in Virginia over the next few months, leading up to the return of live horse racing in New Kent in August.
Colonial Downs Group leaders said the Vinton location is critical to the company’s success in the commonwealth.
They said horse racing culture grew in the Roanoke Valley over the 10 years the location was up and running. They believe that the last few years people have been traveling outside of Virginia to hit casinos and place bets.
“What we’re going to bring is something that looks and feels and plays something similar to that,” Dellaverson said.
Vinton Mayor Brad Grose sees the venue as a positive addition to the community. He said no one complained in the past about having a betting venue in town.
“I really think we’ll see a lot of people from out of town, even from out of the region come here,” he said.
Changes to Virginia law helped open up betting at sites like Rosie’s. However, the company is still restricted on how many of the machines that take bets on past races they can have at one location.
Rosie’s will be able to host all forms of Parimutuel betting, where money is placed in a pool.
The late April opening should be before the Kentucky Derby, scheduled to take place May 4.
The location was open for ten years before closing in 2014.
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