Colonial Downs Group Launches Petition to Bring Gaming to Amherst County


The Colonial Downs Group is circulating a petition to bring slot machine-style gaming to Amherst County, according to a Wednesday press release. If five percent of qualified voters sign the petition, county residents will have the opportunity in November to vote to approve a Rosie’s Gaming Emporium.

In the press release, Chief Operating Officer of Colonial Downs Group Aaron Gomes said, “Amherst County is exactly the kind of up-and-coming Virginia locality in which we look to operate. We know we can bring well-paying jobs, and millions in new tax revenue to the county. We can also bring a lot of fun at the same time!”

The proposed facility will offer pari-mutuel gaming based on live horse races and slots-like historical horse racing.

“It’s players competing against each other, rather than the house,” explains.

Virginia law requires a voter referendum before the facility can be built. Some county officials are supporting Colonial Downs Group in the process.

Amherst County Economic Development Authority (EDA) Executive Director Victoria Hanson said in the release, “The Economic Development Authority of Amherst County is excited about this opportunity to bring a new business to the county that will bring hundreds of thousands of new tax dollars every year, add over a hundred well-paying jobs, as well as attract many new visitors to Amherst County.”

Amherst County Supervisor Claudia Tucker said in the release, “Not only does Rosie’s contribute to the present and future success of Virginia’s proud thoroughbred horse racing tradition, but they have established a sterling reputation as a strong economic and local community partner across the Commonwealth. Rosie’s will grow the local tax base and provide us with critical new revenue for our schools, roads and public safety, while adding a fun entertainment and dining venue for residents and tourists alike.”

The EDA’s Facebook announcement said the location would create about 100 new jobs and annual tax revenue of $800,000. The announcement received a mixed reaction from commenters, with several expressing a preference for family-friendly businesses.

My question is why can’t we bring something family oriented here instead of bringing in a gambling situation for people to end up losing money,” Jennifer Moore asked. “I’m sure families would like to see something fun for our children and grandchildren to do as a family rather than this mess.”

– – –

Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and the Star News Network.  Email tips to [email protected]

Photo “Colonial Downs” by twnewsbadge. CC BY 2.0.





Related posts