Instant Racing Bill To Virginia Governor

Published: March 1, 2018 03:22 pm EST

In Virginia, House Bill 1609, which calls for the legalization of ‘instant racing’ terminals at the former Colonial Downs, was approved by the Senate after a 31-9 vote on Wednesday (February 28).

According to an article by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, ultimate approval the piece of legislation is a prerequisite for a proposed sale of the former raceway.

Colonial Downs, which was harness racing's only one-turn oval and the location of the first sub-1:50 trotting mile, shut its doors in the spring of 2015.

The legislation will now head to the desk of Governor Ralph Northam.

Last month, Virginia Equine Association Executive Director Jeb Hannum was quoted as saying that some of the capital raised via instant racing machines – if they become legal – would go to support harness racing, but specific details of those plans were not unveiled.

(With files from the Richmond Times-Dispatch)

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