It looks like Danville will be getting a Rosie’s Gaming Emporium.
City voters decided to take a chance in favor of allowing an off-track horse race betting facility in Danville, according to unofficial results from the registrar’s office.
According to unofficial numbers from the Virginia Department of Elections, 51.87% (5,083 voters) voted in favor of pari-mutuel wagering and 48.1% (4,717 voters) voted against it.
“We are extremely pleased,” Colonial Downs spokesman Mark Hubbard said Tuesday night. “It’s great that voters in Danville saw the potential for good jobs and significant tax revenues and making Danville a better place.”
Hubbard said it was still premature to say where Colonial Downs would like to build a Rosie’s.
“This was an important first step, and now we’ll begin in earnest the process of working with Danville city leaders to determine exactly what project the community would like to see,” he said.
If a facility opens in Danville, it would include two types of betting: historic horse racing involving simulated, video game-like races in which players bet on a chosen horse and satellite betting on real-life horse races taking place throughout North America.
The official ballot question city voters decided was: “Shall pari-mutuel wagering be permitted in the City of Danville at satellite facilities in accordance with Chapter 29 ... of Title 59.1 of the Code of Virginia?”
State law mandates localities that have not already approved pari-mutuel betting must hold a voter referendum to decide whether a wagering facility can operate in the community.
As for Danville’s clerk of court race, incumbent Gerald Gibson staved off challenges from Melissa Tuck and Charles Crumpler. He will serve an eight-year term.
“I feel so honored that the people would trust me to run the office,” Gibson said after unofficial results came in at City Hall on Tuesday night.
He added he will continue to treat everyone fairly.
“I try to live up to what they [voters] trust me with,” said Gibson, who was first elected in 1979.
Gibson took 41.1% of the vote (4,083 votes), Crumpler had 30.4% (3,025), and Tuck grabbed 28.3% (2,811), according to unofficial results.
Crumpler, during a gathering of supporters at the Courtyard Marriott at Riverside Drive, said he put all he could into the race.
“I put everything out in the field,” Crumpler said. “It was just not meant to be at this time.”
Tuck, who was watching results on screens in the city council chambers, congratulated Gibson on his win for another eight-year term and thanked him and Crumpler for well-run campaigns.
“I enjoyed all the people I met in the city,” Tuck said. “I’ve been blessed by this endeavor.”
In addition, Danville School Board member Elizabeth Leggett was elected in a court-ordered special election after facing no competition. She who was appointed to the board after Ed Polhamus died in October 2018.
Leggett’s seat is up for grabs for a full four-year term in May.
Crane reports for the Register & Bee. He can be reached at (434) 791-7987.