FACT SHEET FOR DANVILLE VOTERS on the NOVEMBER 5th PARI-MUTUEL WAGERING REFERENDUM
The City of Danville and its leadership want citizens to know important details about the upcoming November 5th election on the issue of Historical Horse Racing. The City has not taken a position on the subject and does not offer a position here, but your leadership believes that all Danville voters will benefit from the below-outlined information.
On Tuesday, November 5, 2019, registered voters in Danville will have the opportunity to vote on allowing pari-mutuel wagering in the City. The following question will be on the ballot on Election Day:
Shall pari-mutuel wagering be permitted in the City of Danville at satellite facilities in accordance with Chapter 29 (§ 59.1-364 et seq.)of Title 59.1 of the Code of Virginia?
WHAT IS THE ISSUE?
In 2019, the General Assembly of Virginia approved the introduction of pari-mutuel Historical Horse Racing machines. The law mandates that localities that have not already approved pari-mutuel wagering hold a voter referendum before a pari-mutuel facility can locate in their community.
The Code of Virginia stipulates that before the referendum is placed on the ballot, signatures from at least 5% of qualified voters must be submitted to, and certified by, the local General Registrar. The local Circuit Court then must officially declare that the referendum will appear on the ballot.
This summer, over 3,400 Danville residents signed a petition in support of putting a referendum question on the ballot to allow pari-mutuel wagering in Danville. The signatures have been certified, and the Court has ruled that the referendum will appear on the November 5th ballot in Danville.
WHAT IS HISTORICAL HORSE RACING?
Section 59.1-365 of the Code of Virginia defines "Historical horse racing” as a form of horse racing that creates pari-mutuel pools from wagers placed on previously conducted horse races and is hosted at (i) a racetrack owned or operated by a significant infrastructure limited licensee or (ii) a satellite facility that is owned or operated by (a) a significant infrastructure limited licensee or (b) the nonprofit industry stakeholder organization recognized by the Commission and licensed to own or operate such satellite facility.
WHAT IS PARI-MUTUEL WAGERING?
The Code of Virginia defines "Pari-mutuel wagering" as the system of wagering on horse races in which those who wager on horses that finish in the position or positions for which wagers are taken share in the total amounts wagered, plus any amounts provided by a licensee, less deductions required or permitted by law and includes pari-mutuel wagering on historical horse racing and simulcast horse racing originating within the Commonwealth or from any other jurisdiction.
WHAT IS SIMULCAST HORSE RACING?
The Code of Virginia defines "Simulcast horse racing" as the simultaneous transmission of the audio or video portion, or both, of horse races from a licensed horse racetrack or satellite facility to another licensed horse racetrack or satellite facility, regardless of state of licensure, whether such races originate within the Commonwealth or any other jurisdiction, by satellite communication devices, television cables, telephone lines, or any other means for the purposes of conducting pari-mutuel wagering.
WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS MEAN FOR DANVILLE?
If Danville voters approve pari-mutuel betting in the City, then a facility could locate here where simulated horse races in state-approved, regulated gaming machines would allow players to bet on a chosen horse based on win statistics. The machines hold an archive of 90,000 previously-ran horse races and race-related statistics. Players also could allow the gaming machine to choose the horse for them in the wager.
In addition, wagering at satellite pari-mutuel facilities on real-life horse races that are taking place elsewhere also could be permitted in Danville if the referendum is approved.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM REGISTERED TO VOTE?
To find out if you are registered to vote, visit the Danville Voter Registrar office website at http://danvilleva.gov/vote or visit their office located at 530 Main Street, First Floor, Suite 100, in Danville. The phone number s 434-797-8987.
The deadline to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you is Tuesday, October 29, 2019. Your request must be received by 5:00 PM.
The deadline to vote in-person absentee is Saturday, November 2, 2019.