Vote No Table Games on December 5, 2009
Questions & Answers
There are so many questions surrounding bringing table gaming to Jefferson County that it would be impossible to list them all.  However, shown below are the most frequently asked questions and their answers.
Are table games a good deal for Jefferson County?
No. This is not a good deal for Jefferson County. We will need far more money than is being legislated to pay for the impact that casino gambling will have on our community. These costs include increased law enforcement, emergency services, road construction, and social services to address the needs of the many new low-wage workers brought in to fill positions. The track and the state get the lion’s share of the revenue and the citizens get stuck with future taxes to pay the infrastructure bills.
Will casinos spread throughout the county?
Almost certainly. In the current bill, casinos have been legislated for Charles Town Races and Slots. Video lottery machines were initially allowed only at racetracks. The machines have since been legalized statewide for other bars and clubs. The Greenbrier bill allows casinos at “historic resort hotels”1. This opens the door for casino proliferation throughout all of West Virginia, including Jefferson County.
Will we become another Atlantic City or Las Vegas?
No one can predict the future, but if table gaming comes to Jefferson County, it will bring the kind of unbridled growth our community doesn't want or need. Casino gambling will bring increased traffic congestion, crime, high-rise hotels, and a flood of new workers to fill low-paying hotel and gaming jobs. The casino will take away employees and customers from other local businesses. Look at Atlantic City; behind the glitzy high-rise hotels are slums.
Is it true that the county and its school will receive large amounts of funding?
Don't count on it. They are projecting nearly four million dollars to the schools, but read the fine print. That amount is projected for 2012 and by then, if other states like Maryland get table games, the projections will shrink. The funds are restricted to capital improvements, with NOTHING for teachers’ salaries. There could be NO net gain because there is no language in the bill to prevent the state’s school building authority from reducing the amount it will provide to the county for renovations or new construction. We were promised school funding in the 1996 video lottery referendum, when we were told that a vote for video lottery is a vote for education. That didn’t happen.
What about all the new jobs?
According to the proponents, table gaming will be adding more than 500 new local jobs. These entry level jobs in the food, beverage, and hotel industries are some of the lowest paying jobs available. There aren’t enough available local workers to fill these positions, so workers will have to be imported, most likely from other countries. These workers will be unable to afford to buy homes, and we will bear the tax costs of more schools to educate their children. Dealers will in all likelihood be transferred in from other areas. Look what happened at Mountaineer: jobs were promised, but they’ve had three sets of layoffs since table games were introduced.
Will table gaming help the horsemen?
No. The current bill will irrevocably harm the horse industry. Look at what happened at Mountaineer after table games were introduced: purses have been cut 26% and races have been reduced from ten to nine per day. Why? Horsemen get 14 dollars per hundred from slots; with table games they get 60 cents. West Virginia is the ONLY state to differentiate between slots and table game revenue. If takeout rates were the same for table games as for slots, horsemen wouldn’t be harmed. The inequitable division of revenue will put most local horsemen out of business and seriously jeopardize local farms and agricultural green spaces.
1. WV Code section29-25-9(b)
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