The dispute over a simulcasting contract between management at Colonial Downs and the Virginia Horsemen's Association has ended up with the simulcast signal being cut until an agreement can be reached. Below is a letter from Colonial Downs President Ian Stewart.......
The Virginia Racing Commission ("VRC") has ordered 25 days of thoroughbred racing over five weeks for 2014, which is the same schedule that Colonial Downs conducted in 2013. The VRC reached its decision after long debate. The Virginia Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association ("the VaHBPA") is unwilling to accept the VRC's decision to race 25 days over five weeks.
The current contract with the VaHBPA expired as of midnight on January 29, 2014. We have offered to sign the exact same contract as last year. We have also offered several alternatives in an attempt to accommodate their wishes. However, despite extensive efforts by Colonial Downs to reach a compromise, the VaHBPA has refused to sign a new contract. Consequently, we believe that our ability to accept wagers on thoroughbred races at our satellite wagering facilities may be severely restricted. We believe customers can continue to wager on thoroughbred horse races through account wagering and can continue to wager on standardbred racing in the SWFs.
Without the ability to wager on thoroughbred races, we cannot keep our Alberta, Vinton, Martinsville and Scott County satellite wagering facilities open and they will be closing January 31, 2014 until we reach a contract resolution that will allow us to re-open them. Customers will still be able to wager on Standardbred races at our Richmond West Broad Street, Richmond Hurley's, Chesapeake Indian River Road and Hampton locations. In addition, we believe customers will continue to be able to wager on both thoroughbred and standardbred races through the four licensed account wagering providers, EZ Horseplay, TVG, Xpressbet and Twinspires. If you would like help opening an EZ Horseplay account, please see one of our staff members.
Every effort has been made to work with the VaHBPA and I am very disappointed that we have reached this point. I hope this interruption of normal business will be brief and that a mutually satisfactory agreement can be reached.
Ian M. Stewart