Danville City Council meets for first time after razor-thin referendum vote

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DANVILLE, Va. (WFXR) – Danville City Council met Thursday night for the first time since the area passed a measure to allow parimutuel wagering in the city.

Although the vote passed by the slimmest of margins – only 51.87% of voters in the affirmative – the topic did not come up during Thursday’s meeting, in public comment or otherwise.

City Manager Ken Larking tells WFXR News the Colonial Downs Group has not yet approached Council to talk about a potential Rosie’s location.

Parimutuel wagering is pooling bets together – in this case on historical and simulcast horse races – taking out taxes and a house cut, and then sharing the pool among all winning bets.

Larking adds that there’s a single statewide license for parimutuel wagering that’s issued to the Colonial Downs Group, so the question isn’t ‘what’ but ‘when.’

“Just like any other business that’s allowed to operate in the city of Danville, we’re going to do what we can to work with that business to find them a good location and get them through the appropriate approvals,” he said, not speculating on potential economic impact.

Larking said ‘that’s how elections occur’ when asked if he was concerned about the referendum passing by fewer than 200 votes, pointing to the Virginia General Assembly seat recently decided by literally drawing a name from a hat.

On the topic of gaming, Council voted 9-0 to deny a special use permit to the Pilot truck stop on Rivermont Drive, which would have allowed for the installation of a number of skill-based gaming machines inside.

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