Rosie’s may look familiar with its bright lights and touch screens of gaming machines that pulsate with lights and buzz with sounds, yet this gambling emporium is at the cutting-edge of legalized gambling in Virginia. Instead of traditional slots machines or table games like those found at a casino, they use historical horse racing machine-like games that look, feel and function just like traditional casino slots – something no other gambling emporium in Virginia can match.
These machines are based on actual, but anonymous horse races archived and legalized in the state since last year. Players choose their game, pay and start to play; an algorithm determines each spin’s results before sharing out winnings among all who placed bets on it; similar to parimutuel betting in horse races. A display screen provides players with game history for informed bets.
There are 700 such games in a cavernous room, as well as a gift shop featuring Rosie merchandise and a sit-in diner serving sandwiches (such as vegan-friendly Impossible Burger), grilled chicken salads, flatbread pizzas and flatbread pizzas from its menu. A bar offers beer as well as specialty cocktails like Penny Baron Sunset Sangria Down South cocktails.
Rosie’s is best known for its horses, with their owners emerging as its biggest winners. In 2021 alone, both Roanoke and Collinsville locations saw roughly $317 million in wagers attracted to each location; 92% went back into customer accounts while the rest paid as taxes to localities and the state, according to Todd Lear from Vinton location gaming operations manager.
Colonial Downs Group, the company behind Rosie’s, reports making direct monetary and in-kind donations totaling more than $2,350,000 and providing over 2,750 service hours annually in local communities. Furthermore, Colonial Downs has contributed over $32 Million annually toward state and local taxes according to its corporation.