The Virginia Equine Alliance (VEA) opened its third Off Track Betting Center this past weekend in Chesapeake at Buckets Bar & Grill. The restaurant is located in the Great Bridge area and is part of the Battlefield Shopping Center (228 N. Battlefield Blvd – Chesapeake, VA 23320). Heading south, Buckets is on the right hand side just before the drawbridge.
Racing fans filled Buckets all day & evening on Saturday. This was the first time in over three years that satellite wagering has been available in Chesapeake. The former Colonial Downs OTB on Indian River Road stopped taking cash wagers in November, 2014.
The Chesapeake site features a large main dining room/lounge area, an OTB room with its own separate entrance, and an adjoining pool room. Horse racing action is shown in all three sections and wagering is available via either self betting terminals or at manned betting stations. Fans can purchase either Equibase or Daily Racing Form programs at a kiosk for $1.50 or $3.00 per track respectively.
The Buckets OTB will take live simulcast signals from up to 20 tracks daily from 12 Noon – 11 PM. A complete simulcast schedule is at www.virginiahorseracing.com. Buckets is a popular full service restaurant and bar that features food and beverage specials every day. The bar itself shows all the NFL games on Sunday and has live music on Saturday evenings. Every Wednesday features $1 draft beer (10 oz. cup) and 50 cent chicken wings.
The VEA opened its first OTB at Breakers Sports Grille in Richmond’s west end on November 2nd last year. The Ponies & Pints OTB in downtown Richmond opened in January this year. The Virginia Racing Commission just gave approval for a fourth OTB in Collinsville (Martinsville/Henry County area) at the Quality Inn on Route 220, though the VEA still needs to acquire a special use permit from the County (at a November 29th meeting). Plans for 2018 include applying for OTB licenses in Hampton and Vinton.