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Ranson weighs in on video lottery machines in city

October 19, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

RANSON, W.Va. - Four businesses that have video lottery machines have opened on Mildred Street this year and city officials are concerned about the proliferation of the games, City Manager David Mills said Tuesday night.

Video lottery machines, which resemble slot machines at Charles Town Races & Slots, are regulated by the state and the town has little input about how they are allowed, Mills said.

Mills said about 11 businesses in town have video lottery machines.

The issue came up after the Ranson Town Council was presented with a proposal to allow a new business known as the Hot Spot to operate as a private club.

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The council gave approval Tuesday for the business to operate as a private club, which allows owners to sell alcohol and food.

The business would be along Fairfax Boulevard near the Independent Fire Co., Mills said.

A man representing the business told the council he planned to have video lottery machines at the establishment, too.

Mills told the man during the meeting that he did not think video lottery machines would be allowed at the establishment because it is near Fairfax Linear Park, which encompasses the median along Fairfax Boulevard.

There are state regulations that prohibit video lottery machines within a park, Mills said.

The man representing Hot Spot declined to comment after the meeting and referred questions to another person involved in the business.

Video lottery machines pay cash winnings and were allowed in the state after a crackdown on so-called gray machines, which were not regulated.

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