Unregulated Gambling Devices Pose Risks to Virginia’s Horse Industry

Key Concerns regarding Gray Machines in Virginia:

  1. Unregulated Gambling: Gray machines operate outside the purview of existing gambling regulations, creating an environment ripe for illegal activities. This not only undermines the legal framework but allows these gray machines to operate without local or statewide referendums required for all casinos and “Off Track Betting Parlors” in the Commonwealth.
  2. Revenue Loss: The horse racing industry is a vital contributor to Virginia’s economy. The infiltration of gray machines threatens to divert potential revenue away from legitimate racing operations and the HHR machines that help fund the races in Virginia. Unlike other forms of gaming the in the Commonwealth the “skill games” are currently not obligated to pay any taxes and do not support any of the programs mandated with other gaming in the state (Gambling Addiction and Retired Racehorses Program). This could lead to money being taken away from the industry, impacting major programs such as the Virginia Tech Veterinary School, Virginia Horse Center, Local 4-H groups and other youth equine programs. These machines are threatening individual’s livelihoods from farmers, veterinarians, truck drivers, and the many workers associated with the daily care of a racehorse.
  3. Potential for Criminal Activities: Unregulated gambling environments often attract criminal elements. The unchecked growth of gray machines could open the door to money laundering, fraud, and other illicit activities that can further harm the overall safety of these machines’ locations across the Commonwealth. Furthermore, the lack of supervision and regulation of these machines allows easy access for children to play in local gas stations/convenience stores leading to an explosion in underage gambling in Virginia

Additional Articles:
Keep ‘Gray’ Machines Out of Virginia (richmond.com)
Virginia: Skill Game Legalization Hits House Roadblock (richmond.com)

As stakeholders in the Virginia horse racing community, it is imperative that we join forces to address this issue promptly. Here’s how you can help:

Contact your Legislator!
Spread Awareness: Share this information with fellow horse enthusiasts and industry professionals
Advocate for Regulation: Support efforts to regulate and monitor gambling activities.