Across the United States, lawmakers are looking at how gaming can be beneficial within their borders. From online gaming to the lottery and sports betting, there are several laws being considered across the nation to hopefully bring in much-needed revenues. In the state of Virginia, lawmakers have been considering legalizing new betting machines at Colonial Downs, a race track that has seen better days. This week, the Senate approved the legislation, which will see a new betting option hopefully revive the facility.
Located around 30 miles outside of Richmond, Colonial Downs recently shut down after once being a historic and popular race track. The horse track needed something to pull in revenues and lawmakers are hoping this new addition will do the trick.
Yesterday, the state Senate approved the measure, after the House had already provided approval. The new law will allow betting machines to be installed at the race track that will provide wagering on past horse races. Players will wager without knowing which horse they are betting on.
Supporters of the measure are hoping that the legislation will help to revive the equine industry, one that was once thriving in the state. Opponents of the measure state that the betting machines will allow gambling interest to gain a toehold and it could be the turning point to seeing casinos created, like other states.
Now the measure will move forward to the governor office for his signature. Governor Ralph Northam has yet to comment on the legislation, so it will be interesting to see if the bill will be approved. The racing industry can certainly benefit from the wagering option, which could lead to money brought back to the region thanks to gambling.
We shall see if the betting machines are added to the state and if so, just how big of an impact they will have on the revenues needed as well as reviving the struggling racetrack.