Rosie's Gaming Emporium will be Northern Virginia’s first slot-machine type gambling parlor once it opens Friday, as the state expands legal gambling in the commonwealth. The town of Dumfries is also betting that Rosie’s will bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars in new tax revenue.
Rick Casagrande is the general manager of the site that opens Friday.
“We know that Northern Virginia is going to embrace this Rosie's, just as we have been successful in other parts of the state,” he said.
How successful? This past November, the other Rosie's locations brought in $170 million in wagers and paid out about $155 million. The machines are penny games that are played similar to a traditional slot machine.
“Every time I actually place a bet here, I'm actually betting on three historical horse races. We have a library of about 90,000 horse races that'll determine the outcome of the spin," Nate Mize, the director of marketing at Rosie's, said.
Penny jackpots start at $100,000. But not everyone in town is seeing dollar signs.
A few town council members opposed Rosie's, saying they did not want to bring another vice into the community, just walking distance from lower-income neighborhoods.
Friday it will open anyway, with a temperature check on the way in, hand sanitizer stations and plexiglass barriers between games. Face masks are required.
“We are prepared, and our existing four Rosie's locations in the state have done very, very well and provided an incredible, safe and fun-filled entertainment experience," Casagrande said.
Virginia's COVID restrictions limit Rosie's to 30% capacity, meaning they can have about 120 people inside at once.
Once it's operating at capacity, the general manager estimates Rosie's will contribute about $55,000 in taxes to the town of Dumfries every month.
Virginia is one of a handful of states that, until recently, did not allow full-scale casinos. This past November, Virginia voters supported future casinos in four cities, though none of them are in Northern Virginia.