At that hearing, Track President James Buchanan predicted adding 500 machines to the track's existing 935 video lottery machines will more than double revenues for Charles Town. Many of the video lottery machines will be converted into coin-drop slot machines with the first coin-drop machines expected to become operational in early December, said Bill Bork Jr., the track's marketing director.
The track's gross revenues top $20 million, but Buchanan expects that to jump to $52 million a year with the new machines.
"I certainly have been impressed with the new owners," Underwood said of Penn National Gaming's efforts to improve and modernize Charles Town Races.
"I think it's a good move because it certainly is a boost to tourism," Underwood said, adding the "bulk of track clients come from out of state."
"That brings cash flow into the state. It certainly generates business in the area," Underwood said.
Video lottery also has improved the purses and the racing, race officials said.
Three years ago the average purse at Charles Town was $1,500, said James T. McClure, chairman of the West Virginia Racing Commission.
With the revenue from video lottery and simulcast the average purse has gone up to between $5,000 and $7,500, McClure said.
"As the purse structure improves, so does the caliber of the horses," McClure said.
McClure said the Breeders Classics, for West Virginia-bred horses, is fulfilling its purpose to attract more horse breeders into the West Virginia breeding program.
With all the improvements, Breeders Classics President Sam Huff said he'd still like to see the 3/4-mile track expanded to a mile.
"I think it has to be that to make it something special. If we don't get that, we're always going to be second class," Huff said.
Huff said he'd also like to see a turf course added.
Bork said there are no plans to expand the track or add a turf track. That would be "a big construction project" and track officials are focusing on expanding the facility and machines now, he said.