07 December 2009

Gambling in West Virginia: Jefferson County OKs Table Games

All four of West Virginia's racetracks can now host casino-style table games after holdout track host Jefferson County approved their use over the weekend, The Associated Press and others report.

"With all of Jefferson County's 32 precincts reporting, the unofficial vote was 6,279-4,343," the AP article said. "Both sides had hoped for strong turnout, mobilizing many of the county's 33,000 registered voters throughout the day with full-page newspaper ads, Facebook pleas and personal phone calls."

While, Hancock, Kanawha and Ohio counties had all voted for adding such games at their tracks in 2007, Jefferson had rejected them that year.

"Total turnout was slightly higher, at 11,072, compared with the 2007 vote," writes AP's Vicki Smith, who notes the changes in voter attitudes but also observes that "the arguments against the games were the same as two years ago: Charles Town will become the next Atlantic City. Gamblers will get addicted faster. The new jobs won't be that great."

Others covering the weekend vote include The Journal of Martinsburg and MetroNews.

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