'Historical Racing' Bill Signed In Virginia

Published: April 10, 2018 12:48 pm EDT

On Monday (April 9), Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed House Bill 1609, which calls for the legalization of the operation of historical racing machines at Colonial Downs.

According to an article by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the legalization of the machines, which are also referred to as instant racing terminals, is part of an effort to attract an out of state investor to take over the now-defunct 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.

“We thank the governor and the Virginia General Assembly for recognizing the many horsemen and contributions they make in Virginia as well as the importance of our industry and the value it brings to local and regional economies and for the state,” Virginia Equine Alliance President Debbie Easter said late Monday.

Easter also stated that the legislation will help “grow industry revenue, create a strong brand and develop regionally and nationally recognized racing venues.”

(With files from the Richmond Times-Dispatch)

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