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Charles Town Races expanding video lottery

September 22, 1997

By DAVE McMILLION

Staff Writer

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The state Lottery Commission voted Monday to allow Charles Town Races to install an additional 600 video lottery machines, which will boost the track's total to 1,000 machines by mid-October, officials said.

The lottery commission approved the additional machines during a meeting at the track, said Bill Bork Jr., marketing director for Charles Town Races.

The track already has been given permission to operate 400 video lottery machines. Bork said 300 machines are running and 100 more are expected to be ready by the end of this week.

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The machines are open to the public seven days a week.

Although track officials have long looked to video lottery to boost business at the oval, the machines have been controversial among some Jefferson County residents, who fear they will lead to casino gambling.

At Monday's meeting, there was "some small opposition, but nothing we couldn't handle," Bork said.

Jefferson County Commissioner Edgar Ridgeway fears the county will be dependent on video lottery, and as a result, the track will get whatever it wants.

"I'm sorry I went. It was just a charade," Ridgeway said of the meeting.

The video lottery machines are part of an $18 million renovation to the track. Penn National Gaming, which took over the track after voters approved video lottery last year, has constructed new stables and has made improvements to the kitchen, dining and simulcast areas.

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