RICHMOND, Va. -- Rosie’s Richmond Gaming Emporium is open for business after a ceremonial ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday morning.
Hundreds of people from across the Commonwealth lined up alongside the building before Rosie's opened its doors at 11 a.m.
The betting parlor is located where a shuttered Kmart sat along Midlothian Turnpike just east of the Chippenham Parkway.
Rosie’s Gaming Emporium features 700 historical horse racing machines, simulcast horse racing, restaurant and bar, and gift shop.
When you walk into Rosie’s, the machines look tremendously similar to an electronic slot machine which Virginia does not allow. They flash bright colors, are decorated with four-leaf clovers and golden pots, and include titles like "Royal Deuces Wild” and “Polly Wanna Jackpot”
Officials said the difference lies inside the machines. Instead of randomly generating numbers like slot machines do, the historical horse racing machines base the games off an algorithm that randomly generators the results of 90,000 past horse races.
Officials said players can manually pick horses within each race, and the machines display odds for each horse in a given race or you can choose to bypass that and “spin,” which amounted to guessing on the winner.
“The Richmond location builds on our commitment to create hundreds of jobs and generate significant tax revenues across the Commonwealth by bringing together gaming enthusiasts, horse lovers, and the community to experience an exciting and fun activity,” Aaron Gomes, CEO of Colonial Downs Group.
Brent Stevens, a partner with Colonial Downs Group, says Rosie’s will contribute $25 million to the Commonwealth of Virginia annually in state taxes and create 900 jobs statewide.
“We have 225 team members here today with an average compensation package, which includes benefits and salary and wages of over $40,000 per year,” Stevens added.
Rosie’s Richmond Gaming Emporium is the third Rosie’s location to open in Virginia following a location in New Kent at Colonial Downs and in Vinton. A fourth location in Hampton is set to open this fall.
The revenues generated through the historic horse racing machines will enable the return of live thoroughbred horse racing at Colonial Downs.
Virginia lawmakers signed off on allowing the machines in 2018.
Rosie’s in Richmond will be open weekdays 8 am to 2 am, and weekends 8 am to 4 am.