In the gambling world, the month of May means great business and tomorrow is the most expensive day in sports. The Kentucky Derby will have local gamblers clamoring take home big bucks.
When Colonial Downs was still an idea, it was drenched in high expectations and even higher controversy. The Town of Vinton was expecting big bucks and some residents didn't want gambling it their backyard.
Nine years later it begs the question; how's this place doing?
May is money month for off track betting parlors like these with the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.
Manager Jeff Spaugh says, "We expect about 700 to 800 people to come through the doors tomorrow."
Spaugh expects every single seat, nearly 400, will be full early, good business for them.
"And they will be full probably 3 or 4 hours before the race even starts, by the time the race goes off it will be standing room only," he said.
Expectations are high here, much like they were when Colonial Downs opened in 2004. The town of Vinton originally hoped to bring in 100-thousand dollars a year in tax revenue.
The town readjusted its expectations five years ago to around 50-thousand per year, and have adjusted again recently with Colonial Downs bringing in around 20-thousand a year now.
Despite that, it's not a source of disappointment.
"Really, it's been a good corporate citizen, they have a fantastic building and a good place in town," says Chris Lawrence, Vinton's City Manager.
While Vinton has reduced it's financial expectations, leaders say it's still been good for the community.
"No public funds were spent on it so everything that we receive from a tax base is positive money," said Lawrence.
Folks with Colonial Downs say the recession in 2008 put a damper on financial expectations across the board. The other cause for the decline in revenues; the ability to place bets on smartphones and the addition of betting kiosks in some bars and restaurants.
Whole different story over there where they've been very steady: folks at Colonial Downs tell me off track betting is illegal in North Carolina. Because of that, people down there cross the stateline into Virginia to place bets at the Martinsville location.