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Manuel: table games bill missing key element

March 05, 2007|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A casino table games bill in the Legislature that would allow the public to vote on whether to allow the games at Charles Town Races & Slots continues to attract criticism.

Jefferson County Commissioner Dale Manuel said at last Thursday's commission meeting that there is still no provision in the bill that would set aside revenue from table games at the track to be used by Jefferson County Schools.

The possibility of local schools getting revenue from table games to help deal with funding constraints has been discussed among local officials. Del. Bob Tabb, D-Jefferson, said previously it has been a tough issue to push in the current session of the Legislature.

The bill would allow track officials to ask county residents for permission to add table games to the track, but Commissioner Rusty Morgan said Thursday the bill will have to be acceptable enough in its legislative form to get favorable reaction from county residents.

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"It doesn't seem to be getting there," Morgan said.

The bill was criticized last week by two Jefferson County lawmakers over a change in how local governments would receive funding from table games and a move to cut purse fund allocations for horse races.

Tabb said previously he thinks Jefferson County voters might turn down any proposal to allow table games at the track if it includes no provision for added funding for local schools.

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