Gaming Fever Reaches Hampton

The opening of Rosie’s Gaming Emporium at the Power Plant of Hampton Roads has opened all the gaming fever paths to Hampton. Last few weeks have seen hundreds of patrons waging a bet or more on historic horse races, via the business’ 700 electronic gaming devices. Though the company keeps no track of the no. of patrons that pass through the door but one can estimate the population leading to Rosie’s by the revenue it is raking up.

Mark Hubbard, spokesman for Colonial Downs Group, which owns Rosie’s, said “We have seen heavy traffic. We are new and different, and people are checking us out.” The visitors have racked up $7 million in sales and generated $20,000 in city tax revenue, he mentioned.

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Earlier this year the state legislators had passed a combined bill, led by Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, to permit casino gambling regulated by the Virginia Lottery Board. The bill limits casino operation to five sites — Richmond, Danville, Bristol, and Norfolk and Portsmouth, in Hampton Roads. While the Hampton City Council is to approve the request by wednesday, the request among several priorities in the city’s 2020 legislative package is that they want Hampton to be counted among those localities permitted to develop casino gaming.

Mayor Donnie Tuck has said that from his perspective there should be one (of) these on this side of the water. “Hampton is the center of the region,” he stated. Talk of the Hampton Roads region supporting multiple casinos has the Hampton City Council fired up with Norfolk and Portsmouth proposals in motion, including one pitched by the Pamunkey Indian Tribe.