Historic Horse Racing (HHR) Machines have been installed at Rosie’s Vinton in anticipation of the grand opening in early May.
Nate Mize, the regional director of marketing for the Colonial Downs Group, and General Manager Ernie Dellaverson demonstrated how the games work during a tour of the facility on April 15.
Mark Hubbard of McGuire Woods Consulting calls the arrivals of the machines a milestone in the project, saying, “The opening of Rosie’s Gaming Emporium in Vinton is fast approaching. Construction is almost complete and now the games have arrived to be connected to the system. We are on track with our $300 million statewide investment to start opening Rosie’s in April and May and welcome thoroughbred horses back to Virginia in August.”
Colonial Downs hopes the Vinton facility will be completed in time for the Kentucky Derby on May 4. The industry believes that the statewide HHR facilities will revive live horse racing in Virginia.
Dellaverson said that 150 employees have been hired for Rosie’s Vinton with just a dozen or so positions left to fill. The Colonial Downs Group will be hiring approximately 800 team members in all its locations in the Commonwealth. The average salary is above $40,000 plus benefits.
Workers in Vinton are installing the familiar Rosie’s sign this week along with ADA-compliant entrance ramps. Work continues within on Rosie’s restaurant and bar, the retail shop, and the smoking area. Ceiling tiles have yet to be installed.
TV screens are being mounted throughout the building, along with teller machines in the simulcast racing area.
The 150 Historic Horse Racing Machines are ready for guests who will be placing wagers on races that have already been run. About 90,000 races are stored in the machines from the 1990s on.
Patrons may place bets in two ways— by either selecting their own horses in three randomly chosen past races or by using the AutoCap system which chooses the winner for the patron based on the best odds. The majority choose to let the machines make the choices. The machines are based on an algorithm that operates off of three races.
Information is stored on the machines including winning percentages for the horses, jockeys, post positions, and trainers in each race for the bettor to consider. The races are re-enacted in animation on the screen after bets are placed, revealing the location and date of the original race.
Different machines accept wagers in varying denominations from 20 cents to $15 based on credits.
Rosie’s guests will also be able to place bets on live races from across the country via satellite feed. (If the facility opens by May 4, the Kentucky Derby will be broadcast live.) Bets can be placed prior to the race and winners announced right afterwards. Some live tellers are required by state regulations for these races.
Hubbard says that research shows that more women tend to use the Historic Racing terminals to place bets while men tend to favor the live races.
The Rosie’s Vinton project consists of approximately 15,000 square feet of space, with abundant exterior lighting, surveillance cameras, and security.
The Colonial Downs Group expects to generate about $1.5 million in taxes annually, with approximately $500,000 going to the Town of Vinton.
They expect a large proportion of visitors to come from surrounding counties, bringing additional money into the town.
Hours of operation will be from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. during the week and from 8 a.m. to 4 a.m. on weekends.
The Rosie’s Vinton is part of a $300 million investment statewide with the Rosie’s New Kent set to open on April 23. Other Rosie’s are under construction in Richmond and Hampton.
Rosie’s Vinton is located on Vinyard Road across from the Lancerlot Sports Complex.