Wheeling and Mountaineer Casinos Bring Long Sought Aid to Region

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West Virginia casinos continue to progress despite the numerous obstacles that have slowed their development. Officials at state tracks first asked for table games as a response to Pennsylvania installing video poker at several locations many months ago. The thought was that video poker might lure West Virginians over the state border, and table games might be the best chance to retain players and bring in new customers.

The state legislature debated the issue, and took over a year to resolve argument over taxation rates and licensing fees. The final settlement was a charge of $2.5 million for each license, plus 35% of net profits. Licensing money was to go to seniors health care, and taxes were to go to local counties and city governments.

After passing the legislature in March, the bill then went before the voters of the counties affected. Ohio County passed the issue by a huge margin on June 9th, and, after a few minor mishaps scheduling the election, Hancock County did the same in August.

Although tracks wanted to now start operations by Labor Day, the state informed them that regulators had to be present when tables began play, and regulators could not be trained and ready by that date. Poker finally began play in mid-October, and blackjack and roulette followed on December 20th.

So far, between Wheeling Island Hotel, Casino, and Racetrack and Mountaineer Racetrack, Casino, and Resort, over 1250 jobs have been created in the economically depressed state.

However, the next obstacle is looming. Ohio County is now examining whether to ban smoking at the facilities. Track officials estimate smokers comprise 70% of their customer base.

Seems that the benefits of installing casinos have already helped the region, despite several attempts to sabotage the process and negate the positive effects. Let’s hope smoking laws do not drag this economic boon down.

Wexler’s Poker & Skill Gaming Bill HR 2610 Gains New Co-Sponsor

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Today marked another mile-stone in the effort to legalize certain Internet skill games at the federal level.

Rep. Robert E. Andrews [NJ-1] became the 21st representative to co-sponsor the Skill Games Exemption bill H.R. 2610 offered by Florida congressman, Robert Wexler.

Congressman Andrews is currently serving his 10th term in congress. During that time he has served on the Education and Labor Committee and is currently the chairman of that committee. He also is on the Subcommittee of Higher Education, Lifelong Learning and Competitiveness.

He sits on the House Armed Services committee and the Subcommittees of Oversight and Investigations, as well as Terrorism and Unconventional Threats committees, and he also serves on the Budget Committee.

The Philadelphia Inquirer credits him as “being properly focused on fixing the looming fiscal disaster in Washington.”

The congressman in not typical of most, he takes the train from his home daily in New Jersey and returns from Washington DC to his family the same night. Over his career he has been a strong supporter of his constituents and is known for fighting for them and their needs.

His district office is located at:

506-A White Horse Pike

Haddon Heights, N.J. 08035

He will be in town for the Christmas break, so it is suggested that those who can, drop in to thank him for his support, and as always, you are encouraged to be polite and gracious.

Gordon Price of Casino Gambling Web said, “While you are there, discuss with him the importance of Rep. Barney Frank’s bill to legalize and regulate all online gambling and ask him to support that effort as well.” The Barney Frank bill can be referenced as Bill HR 2046.

Wexler Gains Hundred Thousand Signatures for Cheney Impeachment

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Vice President Dick Cheney is not a popular person in the United States at the present time. Never has that been as evident as when Congressman Robert Wexler received over 100,000 signatures in five days to support his call for impeachment proceedings.

Wexler has been actively pursuing avenues which can lead to the impeachment of Cheney. Last week, on Friday, Wexler launched www.WexlerWantsHearings.com. On the site he requests that Americans join his cause.

“The tremendous response to my call for impeachment hearings for Vice President Cheney confirms that Americans desperately want the Bush Administration and Vice President Cheney to be held responsible,” said Wexler.

Cheney is being accused of being deceptive leading up to the Iraq war. He also is under fire for illegal wire taps of American citizens.

“I have been overwhelmed by the netroots support for my push for impeachment hearings and for my website, WexlerWantsHearings.com. After only five days, over 100,000 people have signed up to show their support for impeachment hearings,” Wexler said.

Wexler and two of his colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee, Luis Gutierrez and Tammy Baldwin, released an op-ed detailing the responsibility of the House of Representatives to hold hearings on the allegations against Cheney.

Problem Gamblers in Oklahoma Receiving Help Thanks to Unclaimed Tickets

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An ironic situation is taking place in the state of Oklahoma. People who have gambling problems are receiving help and treatment from the most unlikely of sources, lottery winners.

State governments will claim that legalized gambling will cause harm for people who have addiction problems. They also will be the first in line to pass gambling legislation if it will relieve financial strain.

In Oklahoma, problem gambling is being attacked in a creative way, from the state lottery. $500,000 will go towards education and treatment for problem gamblers. That money will come from winning prizes in the lottery that were never claimed.

By law, winners have 180 days to claim their winnings. The latest prize to not be claimed is a $200,000 winning ticket from the June 27th drawing of the state’s Powerball game. If not claimed by today at 5 P.M., the winners will forfeit their right to the money.

In any given year, the first $500,000 in unclaimed prizes goes to help assist in educating problem gamblers and also treating them.

Most likely the tickets from the June drawing will not be redeemed. “Those tickets have probably passed through the laundry several times by now,” said Lottery Director Jim Scroggins.

West Virginia Religious Group Gives Up Gambling Fight

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After much consultation with their attorneys the West Virginia Family Foundation, a right wing conservative christian organization has decided not to file a federal lawsuit against the state to overturn its gambling laws.

Ray Lambert, president of the group said “Our attorneys have advised us we should not go forth with a federal lawsuit.”

The West Virginia Supreme Court refused to hear its case against the 2007 law by a 3-2 decision . The law in question grants counties with horse and dog tracks the ability to offer casino-style gambling if approved by voters.

Ohio and Hancock county voters have approved expanded gambling, while Jefferson county voters defeated the measure, Kanawha county will vote this Saturday. Early voting in Kanawha county was brisk as both sides of the bill have been getting out their supporters.

Lewisburg attorney Barry Bruce filed an extensive lawsuit in state court against the gambling legislation on behalf of the religious conservative group and after the loss in the state court, advised Lambert to withdraw the suit.

“They believe now that we would not be successful in federal court,” said Lambert, citing that research has shown that federal courts seldom intervene in state issues when voters rights or state finances are involved. “What’s more,” he said, “exhaustive research left the Family Foundation with little encouragement. We found that the laws we hoped we could use were not in place.”

Lambert believes the court delivered “a great injustice” when it refused to allow a hearing on their efforts. Lambert is considering the possibility of having a bill introduced into the state legislature in 2008 to void the act, but does not believe it would get anywhere.

“With the present makeup of our legislature, in my opinion, it would be a waste of time” said Lambert. “More conservatives need to be elected if our state has any hopes of coming out of the financial pit that we find ourselves in. Our liberal Legislature and governor have hung another millstone around the necks of West Virginians, who already are having a hard time making ends meet.”

True to their way of preaching, the foundation leader has tried to instill fear into its congregation by citing facts which are not in evidence and predicted that a plague of ill-effects such as suicides, broken homes child abuse and neglect will come about, all brought on by gambling addiction as a result of the new casino style games in the state.

West Virginia Recount Confirms Table Gaming Expansion Approval

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The Christain anti-gambling groups in West Virginia fought a valiant fight in their state to keep table gaming from expanding to Kanawha County casinos, but in the end the popular opinion of the people won.

The vote in Kanawha County originally took place on August 11 and intitial counts ruled the expansion of table games to the area’s casino approved by a total of 339 votes. Being it was such a close tally anti-gambling groups insisted on a recount and today that recount took place but revealed the same results.

Mia Moran-Cooper, former executive director of the West Virginia Problem Gamblers Network, was among others who had spoken out against table games in West Virigina. She was the one who financed and filed the paperwork requesting the recount.

After the recount she was asked if she thought the money was wasted being that it ended in the same outcome.

“It wasn’t a waste of money,” she said. “It’s never a waste of money to count votes.”

The vote will ultimately allow table games to be added at the Tri-State Greyhound Track & Slots Casino and as expected Dan Adkins, Vice-President of Hartman & Tyner, parent company of Tri-State, is eager to get started.

“This election was decided three times over,” Adkins said. “It’s time to show resolution and finality to the issue.”

Trump Entertainment Resorts Lighting Up this Labor Day

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Today is the chance for the nation’s workforce to squeeze out one last summer vacation before heading into the cooler months of Fall. For those living in Pennsylvania, New York City, or Delaware, the question of where to go this Labor Day weekend is easy. With celebrations already in full swing across the US, people have rushed to the Jersey Shore for relaxation, the beaches, and of course, top notch casino gambling in Atlantic City.

Atlantic City has become known for offering an always exciting, and sometimes unexpected time for visitors, and this Labor Day Weekend should be no different. There is something for all types even those who are not looking to play poker, gamble on slots, play blackjack, craps, or roulette.

With 5-star entertainment and dining, plus the opportunity to take a relaxing walk on the Boardwalk and breath in the ocean air, Atlantic City can supply a superior Labor Day experience for you and your family.

If you have never been to Atlantic City, there is still time to get over there this Labor Day. Trump Casinos are usually a favorite among visitors. Many people head to either the Trump Marina, Trump Plaza, or Trump Taj Mahal.