Citing legislation currently working its way through the 2015 Virginia Legislative Session which will reportedly deny Colonial Downs approximately $2 million of operating funds annually, Colonial Downs announced today the immediate shutdown of all its remaining pari-mutuel venues.
In February, a pair of bills were passed in Virginia that would divert funds from online wagering away from CoIonial to a non-profit entity. Senate Bill 1097 was passed by the House of Delegates by a vote of 81-18 and was then passed by the Senate by a vote of 31-7. House Bill 1826, a matching bill, was passed by the Senate via a 31-7 vote.
As a result of these bills passing, and due to the ongoing dispute between Colonial Downs and the Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (VHBPA), Colonial Downs announced today (April 7) that it would shutter all racing and wagering venues including EZ-Horseplay.
Senate Bill 1097 will reallocate funds previously used to offset Colonial Downs live racing expenses towards a newly-created Northern Virginia horsemen’s coalition. The legislation and the ongoing dispute between Colonial Downs and the VHBPA have caused Colonial Downs to take the action of closing all racing and wagering venues
EZ Horseplay customers will need to close their accounts (they have two choices to withdraw account balances). 1) Withdraw funds at one of the 75 sites around Virginia that has a kiosk before the end of April. 2) Contact the business office at 1-877-374-7907 to have a cheque mailed for the balance of the account
To read Colonial’s complete release on the track's website, which includes comments from Colonial officials, click here.
(With files from Colonial Downs)