Colonial Downs betting on casino-style games to bring in new crowds

NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Colonial Downs is betting on something besides horses to bring in crowds.

Next month, the track will offer casino-style gaming. Roughly 600 historical horse racing machines started arriving at the track on Monday.

They look and sound like slots but winnings are determined a little differently.

“The experience when you’re playing is no different from a game you might have played outside the Commonwealth,” Colonial Downs Group Chief Operating Officer Aaron Gomes explained.

The machines use previously run horse races to determine if you win or lose but you don’t need to know a thing about the sport to spin and win.

“The outcome’s going to be based on historical horse racing,” says Colonial Downs Marketing Director Nate Mize said. “But you don’t have to bet on the horses; you can have the game do the work for you.”

Minimum bets start at 20 cents, while high rollers can bet as much as $15 a spin.

The games are expected to attract a younger, more female crowd to the male-dominated sport of horse racing.

“It brings a whole new demo into horse racing and offers an alternative to hopefully grow this sport,” Gomes added.

HHR machines successfully supplemented the horse racing industry in places like Kentucky.

Colonial Downs believes the odds are good the games will do the same thing in Virginia.

Rosie’s Gaming Emporium at Colonial Downs opens at the end of April. Locations near Richmond, Roanoke and Hampton open later this year.

Earlier this month, 8News got an inside look at renovations currently underway.

Casino-like gaming opens next month at Colonial Downs
Colonial Downs is set to open in April, with live horse racing returning in August.

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