On the heels of Wheeling Island Hotel Racetrack and Casino announcing they may cut table gaming to save money, a new bill was introduced Wednesday during West Virginia Legislative Session that would allow the casino to possibly re-consider the decision.
The measure would slash the annual fee casinos pay to host table games from $2.5 million to $1 million. The fees benefit senior citizen programs. The bill would offset the revenue drop by tapping the purse fund that pays race winners.
West Virginia State Senators Jack Yost, (D) Brooke, and Rocky Fitzsimmons, (D) Ohio, co-signed the bill that hopes to address concerns about the future of table gaming in West Virginia.
Fitzsimmons said numbers from the lottery commission show that gambling is a declining industry in the area and that we don't know if it will be around forever.
"What we need to do is preserve the income that we receive from the industry for as long as we can to give it some time to diversify our economy," said Fitzsimmons.
The bill would also reduce the minimum number of racing days to 150.
Legislative session ends April 13th.