NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. — Colonial Downs is one step closing to reopening after being purchased for more than $20 million Wednesday by a Chicago-based racing company.
The New Kent track and only thoroughbred racing venue in the commonwealth shut down back in 2014
Revolutionary Racing and partner Peninsula Pacific finalized the deal to purchase Colonial Downs on Wednesday.
The buyers say the deal was made possible to legislation passed by General Assembly to allow for historical horse racing in Virginia. Historic horse racing involves slot-like gaming machines that allow folks to bet on races already run.
Governor Ralph Northam signed the bill into law on April 9.
“We are thrilled to take yet another important step forward in the effort to help revitalize Virginia’s longstanding horse industry,” Larry Lucas, chairman of Revolutionary Racing. “This moment would not be possible without the proactive leadership shown by the General Assembly and Governor Ralph Northam.”
Lucas said the purchase marks a major step in bring horse racing back to Virginia.
Prentice Salter, CEO of Revolutionary Racing, said the return of horse racing to the Commonwealth will mean the creation of new jobs.
“In a race, only one horse can come in first; but with the reopening of Colonial Downs, the entire Commonwealth will win,” he said.
The reopening of Colonial Downs, achieved via revenue generated by historical horse racing, should lead to the creation of over 1400 new jobs, according to a recent study by Richmond based firm Chmura Economics and Analytics.
The study also said that the reopening will have an annual economic impact of $349.1 million; and generate $41.6 million in annual state and local tax revenue.
The new owners say further details regarding the return of racing to Colonial Downs will be released in the months ahead.