HAMPTON — The anticipation is relentless for customers awaiting Tuesday’s grand opening of Rosie’s Gaming Emporium here on Power Plant Parkway.
Antoine Lewis is a Newport News resident and longtime horse-race better. He said he’s looking forward to having an off-track betting site of this magnitude in the area.
After realizing he was four days early for the opening, Lewis last Thursday said he’d make a quick stop in the neighboring Lowes home improvement store before heading to the Rosie’s New Kent location.
Mark Hubbard, a spokesman for Rosie’s, said one benefit to opening its fourth location is that it will increase foot traffic in the Power Plant of Hampton Roads shopping center.
And, it’s safe to say, Lewis isn’t the only person looking forward to opening day.
“Our experience in other markets is that there’s a line outside the door waiting to get in and when you tell them you’re going to open at 11 a.m., you better open at 11 a.m.,” he said.
Colonial Downs LLC. and Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, based in Richmond, broke ground on the property soon after City Council approved a building permit for the off-track betting site last January.
Hubbard said the company is expected to generate about $2 million in tax revenues for the city each year, and after holding hiring events, has provided jobs to nearly 200 residents with salaries and benefits averaging about $47,000 per year.
The gaming emporium will feature attractions that allow parimutuel betting on previously run horse races via their slot-like gaming machines, which unlike traditional slot machines, means the player is betting in a pool with other players, not just against the house Hubbard said.
“Virginia does not allow slot machines, but Virginia did allow the games we’re providing which are called historical horse racing machines in order to bring back the thoroughbred horse racing industry in Virginia,” he said.
Inside Rosie’s, gamers will also find dining options, a gift shop, and a bank of screens on the wall where they can watch and bid on LIVE simulcast horse races in various locations throughout the country.
Before the doors open at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Hubbard said Hampton city officials will be in attendance with Colonial Downs officials and local business owners for a ribbon-cutting.
After its grand opening, Rosie’s Gaming Emporium will stay open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.