Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

March 28, 2013

WVa Senate advances bill lowering fees on casinos

DAVID GUTMAN,Associated Press
Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A bill advanced by the West Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee would lower the annual fees that the state collects from its four racetrack casinos by $1 million.

The bill passed Thursday would reduce the licensing fee for table games from $2.5 million per year to $1.5 million per year.

Because of declining table game revenues, the casino in Wheeling has indicated that it might not renew its license.

The fees fund state programs for seniors.

Sen. Herb Snyder amended the bill so that the money for seniors would be recovered by cutting the state subsidy that helps casinos purchase new slot machines.

Currently, the state pays for 50 percent of the costs of new slot machines. Under the amended bill, the state would only pay 25 percent.