Wheeling Mayor Andy McKenzie predicted the state will face serious hard times as competition for gambling dollars ramps up with out-of-state casinos.

A bill that would have cut the table games license fee for the state’s racinos by $1 million failed to win approval in Charleston.  Wheeling Island previously indicated if the measure didn’t pass, the facility would not renew its table games permit for the coming year.

“That would mean the loss of 150 jobs,” said McKenzie. “Plus the loss of revenue of table games, video lottery and the hotel, and racing. This could be a multi-million dollar loss for the state of West Virginia.”

He predicted Wheeling Island is only the start. McKenzie said at least two of the state’s other three racinos are also in dire straights financially and may lose out to competition across state lines.

“The state of West Virginia receives hundreds of millions of dollars from table games and track revenue,” he said. “Because of those, West Virginians have paid less taxes than they would have over the last 10 to 12 years. Those days are going to be gone and as the tracks have more competition, I think there’s going to be greater demand on the citizens of West Virginia to pay more taxes.”

Wheeling Island is in the process of changing management and hasn’t reacted to the demise of the table games legislation.

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  • David Lengyel

    I go wheeling island quiet often..the casino staff...has a lot to desire..they often treat me rudely...they forget we are customers first and people...'f' them...there is nice people but management need to consider there people first...i spend a lot there and my comps have been cut off in past two to three months...i asked them ..the casino..and they feed me a line of bs....as we speak the casino is doing a promotion for a 500,000 dollar game..if they can promote this for a whole month...which is 30.days. theortically they could pay out 15,000,000 in 30 days....let these 'f' ers pay thier fair shair. Stop crying and whining...and find ways to attract customers..and then retain them...otherwise 'f' wheeling island casino..and thier nasty managers.

  • Rich

    The gambling industry has done this for years and the Legislature kowtows to it: claiming they will have to close because of cross state competition, without telling that the cross state competition is owned by the same companies. They let Jim Justice get by with bringing in tour buses of gamblers when clearly the legislation prohibits it.
    If Target comes in and says you got to lower our taxes because a WalMart is across the state line, we do nothing, nor should we.
    It's time to call the gambling industry's bluff.


    You guys are right. There are no politicians serving in this state that have any business experience outside coal and timber. Just a bunch of good ole boys and lawyers with a token teacher rep here and there. It's a damn shame. Gambling is not a perpetual industry. It is fragile and unpredictable. And the other surrounding states will realize that too soon enough. It's an economic band aid with contributing consequences and collateral damage. The bill sponsoring another casino in Pendleton County is a joke as well. They need a real economic engine, not gambling. Again, its a short lived band aid now that other states are in the game. We need business experience, not personal agendas and standard good ole boys. That time is over. Moreover, I don't care what political party leads the charge, but look past coal and timber. Please!!

  • zerotolerance

    "It's All About The Money Boys!" - Big Dan Teague

  • What happened to wv?

    Well said! You do have to reinvent yourself. Where is the positive thinking? We need more entrepreneurial thinking!

  • cutty77

    Every year in Business you have to reinvent yourself,and your business.If your Smart you do.Quit scaring people with Job Loss too.Right now you can't find people to fill Jobs anyway. There is a reason WV is almost last in everything.WE HAVE STUPID PEOPLE RUNNING THIS STATE,OR SHOULD I SAY RUINING THIS STATE. LOL

  • Tim walters

    Amen Patrick well said

  • Patrick

    I believe, just as we ALL have to do during tough times, the Racinos need to start thinking outside of the box about ways of attracting tourists instead of crying about their situations. It's not like they didn't know that the competition was on its way! So start getting creative and stop whining! Do your job, or step aside and let someone else more creative take the helm!