Lawmakers approve new betting machines at horse tracks

March 1, 2018

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia lawmakers have approved allowing new betting machines at a once-popular horse racetrack.

The state Senate approved legislation Wednesday to allow historical race terminals at Colonial Downs, a recently shuttered horse track about 30 miles (50 kilometers) outside of Richmond.

The machines let people bet on past horse races without knowing which horse they are betting on.

Supporters say the legislation will help revive the state’s once-thriving equine industry.

Opponents say it’s a way for gambling interests to get a toehold that could lead to casinos like in other states.

Gov. Ralph Northam has not publicly commented on the specific legislation.

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