Colonial Downs track in Virginia lays off workers, plans to close all its betting venues

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NEW KENT, Virginia — Colonial Downs is closing all of its betting venues amid a dispute with horse owners and trainers.

The New Kent County thoroughbred track said on Tuesday that it also laid off its remaining employees this week.

Colonial Downs attributes the moves to legislation that it says would reallocate funds to a new Northern Virginia horsemen's coalition. The track says in a news release that it would lose about $2 million of operating funds annually under a Senate bill.

The track also cited its dispute with the Virginia Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.

Colonial Downs wants fewer races with higher purses. The horsemen say they need more racing dates to cover their costs of owning, training and running horses.

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