Rosie's Gaming Marks Third Anniversary and Breaks Ground in Emporia

Rosie's Gaming Marks Third Anniversary and Breaks Ground in Emporia
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums and Colonial Downs Racetrack are celebrating three years of operations and community partnerships in Virginia this month following a groundbreaking for their new location in Emporia.

Rosie’s, owned and operated by the horse racetrack Colonial Downs in New Kent, Va., opened its first four locations in Richmond, Hampton, New Kent and Vinton in quick succession in 2019. The openings came after the Virginia General Assembly passed a law in 2018, allowing pari-mutuel betting as part of a deal to revive live horse racing in Virginia.

Today, Rosie's has locations in those four cities plus Dumfries, and a game room in Collinsville.

Colonial Downs Group and its Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums are estimated to generate over $32 million in state and local taxes annually and create upwards of 1,000 jobs statewide with an annual payroll of more than $30 million.

All Rosie’s locations in Virginia celebrated the company's anniversary on Saturday with fireworks at Colonial Downs Racetrack and food trucks.

Service, quality, and community are the foundation of Rosie's business philosophy, the company said in a news release. “Following these guiding principles has allowed us to have made direct monetary and in-kind donations of more than $2,350,000 and have logged over 2,750 service hours in Virginia communities,” the release said.

The first 100 visitors for the anniversary celebration on Saturday were offered free T-shirts and $3 beers, plus $20,000 worth of cash prize drawings. “That 80’s Show” band provided entertainment on the gaming floor stage at the Rosie's in Vinton Saturday evening.

Rosie's Gaming venues and racetrack provide the feel and atmosphere of a traditional casino, with a twist. The company manages an estimated 2,686 Historical Horse Racing (HHR) machines throughout Virginia that look, feel and play just like traditional slot machines. But they are HHR machines. The only difference is your wins or losses are based on random historical horse racing records. You can still win big jackpots and prizes just like winning the lottery or hitting a traditional slot machine.

In February, Rosie's handled over $307 million in revenue, according to the Virginia Historical Horse Racing Commission Report. That’s part of a growing list of gaming options statewide, including a Virginia sports betting market that has cleared $400 million in handle each of the past five months. Numbers for March are likely to be reported in the next few days.

Churchill Downs Takeover Of Colonial Downs

In a move to expand its geographic footprint, Churchill Downs Inc. announced in February that it is seeking to acquire Virginia’s signature racetrack — Colonial Downs — and all six Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums across the state.

The Louisville, Kentucky-based gaming company, known for its signature event, the Kentucky Derby, has agreed to purchase the assets of Peninsula Pacific Entertainment for $2.485 billion.

Under Virginia law, CDI will have the opportunity to develop up to five additional historical racing entertainment venues in Virginia with up to 2,300 additional HHR machines.

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Emporia Facility Groundbreaking

Colonial Downs Group is investing more than $29 million in Emporia, Va., with the groundbreaking for their sixth Rosie’s Gaming Emporium in the commonwealth. Tax revenues generated from the project, estimated at over $1 million annually, will have a significant impact on the City of Emporia budget. The groundbreaking took place on Thursday.

The Emporia location will provide new jobs, with more than 100 team members. The facility will have 150 HHR machines and a stage for musical entertainment.



Keith Stein is a Virginia-based writer for who covers sports betting and casinos.

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