Virginia: Historical Racing Considered ‘Top Priority’ To Revive Racing, Reopen Colonial Downs

Virginia horse racing officials have joined together to push for the legalization of historical racing in the state, believing that the form of casino-style gambling will be important in securing a buyer for Colonial Downs, which has been shuttered since 2014.

According to an article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the language authorizing historical gaming – or instant racing – was added to Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s final budget proposal. Many industry insiders believe that approval of instant/historical racing is key to securing a new owner for Colonial Downs. Currently, the Chicago-based company Revolutionary Racing is in negotiations to purchase Colonial.

“With or without a buyer on the horizon, we would like to see this happen,” said Virginia Racing Commission Chairman D.G. Van Clief Jr. “And we think it’s probably going to be fundamental to reopening Colonial Downs.”

In 2017, the Virginia Equine Alliance said that historical racing was a “top priority” for bringing in new revenue and revitalizing the racing industry in the state.

“Race tracks can’t make it on live racing anymore,” said Equine Alliance President Debbie Easter. “We’ve got this wonderful world-class facility down there at Colonial Downs that’s basically sitting there rotting.”

Read more in the Richmond Times-Dispatch

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