Expansion of Slot Machines in West Virginia are not on the Agenda
The state of West Virginia is considering adding casino table games into their gaming offering, but it is not their main goal for now. Gov. Ed Rendell, who just spoke to casino executives on March 14, 2007 at the Pennsylvania Gaming Congress held at the Hilton Harrisburg, commented that he wants to see what will be the result of the slot machine sectors in the state before even thinking of expanding the current gambling offerings.
Just last week, the legislators in West Virginia passed a measure that would allow 4 counties in West Virginia to decide for themselves whether or not to offer casino table games, such as blackjack and poker in their racetrack casinos. The state already has slot machines at its disposal.
Gov. Rendell, who championed the legalization of playing slots in Pennsylvania as a means of cutting the property taxes said that he will carefully follow the situation in West Virginia. With 4 racetrack casinos that are already open in Pennsylvania, the governor commented that he is happy with the way the gambling industry is thriving. West Virginia is hoping to open 14 slot machines before the end of the year 2008.
The governor also said that if the gambling industry in the state continues to thrive, they are expecting around $1 billion in total revenue. At the rate that the slot machines are going right now, with about $400 million to statewide funds and $100 million to the reserve fund, the total property taxes that the homeowners in the state will pay is a much lesser amount.
The state residents could experience general tax relief. Records show that the Revenue Department already collected around $17.7 million last February for property tax relief, bringing the total amount to about $42.5 million.