18 June 2007

Gambling Remains The Hot Topic In W.Va.

The Associated Press provides context to the ongoing tumult over the state's problem gambler help program, with this article by Tom Breen.

"A look at gambling programs around the country suggests it’s difficult to make generalizations about a type of state aid that is still, in many places, in its infancy," the article said.

The Charleston Gazette's Phil Kabler, meanwhile, devoted part of his Sunday column to the print/cyber back-and-forth he's had on the topic with state Sen. Vic Sprouse, R-Kanawha.

Last week, Kabler also interviewed Mia Moran-Cooper, the help program's former director, who's become something of a lightning rod.

The Gazette also assesses the financial impact of Jefferson County's rejection of the June 9 table games referendum, by weighing the potential contribution of Hancock County. Voters there will decide the table games question on June 30.

And in another development sure to spice up the gambling debate in West Virginia, the owner of the Jefferson County track has agreed to be purchased by Fortress Investment Group LLC and Centerbridge Partners LP in an $8.9 billion deal.

AP has a story on the announced acquisition plans, while track parent Penn National Gaming issued a press release.

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