The following appeared on www.roanoke.com December 3rd and was written by Alicia Petska
Horse betting is on track to return to Vinton next year with work underway to reopen the parlor on Vinyard Road.
Colonial Downs, now under new ownership, purchased the 15,200-square-foot facility last month for $2.5 million, according to county records. The prior operators leased that property from the Brabham family.
The off-track betting parlor first opened in 2004 after Vinton voters signed off on the idea in a referendum. It closed in 2014 when racing at the Colonial Downs track in New Kent County halted amid a contract dispute with the state horsemen’s association.
Now with racing set to be revived next year, the track’s new owners, Revolutionary Racing, plan to reopen its network of off-track outlets. Vinton is part of the first wave of projects planned. The revamped destination, which will operate under the moniker Rosie’s Gaming Emporium, is forecast to open in spring 2019.
It’s expected to include a full restaurant, live racing broadcasts, and a new form of historical race betting just approved in Virginia. Historical horse racing uses electronic terminals, similar in look to slot machines, to take bets on an archive of pre-recorded races. The new form of wagering was deemed crucial to the revenue formula needed to support the return of live racing.
Vinton is allowed to host up to 150 of the historical racing terminals under state regulations finalized in October. While that was fewer than the Colonial Downs Group had hoped for, it quickly moved ahead with its plans to reopen in Vinton.
In addition to buying the building at 1135 Vinyard Road, the track investors secured a permit in November to do the initial interior demolition needed to clear the decks for the new look the facility will sport once it reopens.