Judge Joseph Milam has signed the order to allow for the referendum question on pari-mutuel betting to be put on November’s voting ballot.

The following question will be placed on the ballot Nov. 5:

“Shall pari-mutuel wagering be permitted in the City of Danville at satellite facilities in accordance with Chapter 29 (§ 59.1-364 et seq.) of Title 59.1 of the Code of Virginia?”

A copy of the order has been sent to the State Department of Elections in Richmond, and the next step will be to proof the ballots for November, according to Registrar Peggy Petty.

The Colonial Downs Group turned in 3,481 signatures in the petition for the referendum, of which 1,765 were verified as registered voters in the city of Danville.

For more on this story, check out the Aug. 14 edition of the Star-Tribune.



The Colonial Downs Group has received enough signatures for their petition for a referendum on November’s voting ballot, according to Danville Mayor Alonzo Jones.

The petition needed at least 1,403 verified signatures to put the pari-mutuel betting question on the ballot.

Danville Registrar Peggy Petty must send the signatures to the Clerk of Circuit Court by Aug. 16 to be certified. Then, the court may order the special referendum question to be on the ballot.

“I’m glad the city gets to choose whether they want the horse betting in the community,” Jones said. “It’s up to the citizens now to decide.”

The paperwork to start the petition was submitted in May by Danville resident Trina McLaughlin.

The Colonial Downs Group is looking to open a Rosie’s location in Danville, which would be a top entertainment facility with satellite horse race betting and pari-mutuel betting based on slot-based HHR machines, as well as a restaurant and bar.

The Colonial Downs Group has made a $300 million investment in Virginia, creating 900 jobs and generating $25 million annual in state taxes and $17 million annually in local taxes.

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