WHEELING, W.Va. — State Senate Finance Committee Chairman Roman Prezioso believes there’s new energy to study the impact out-of-state competition has had on Wheeling Island Casino following last week’s legislative interim committee meetings in Wheeling.

A group of state lawmakers heard from casino officials back on Friday. Prezioso told MetroNews after that meeting there had been a good exchange and there would be a full study in the months ahead.

“We’re going to come out of here with some new energy and some openness and transparency and try to put this thing back on a winning path,’ he said.

Wheeling Island has lost millions to newer casinos in other states that pay lower state taxes and fees. The casino is looking to work with lawmakers to come up with a balanced solution. Wheeling Island plans to renew its $2.5 million table games state license by the Tuesday deadline for at least one more year.

Sen. Prezioso, D-Marion, said it’s important for Wheeling Island Casino to be a revenue generator for the state. He said it cannot fail.

“This county cannot afford that, Wheeling cannot afford that. The state of West Virginia, we’re addicted to the revenues,” Prezioso said.

The Senate leadership began working with Wheeling Island on a possible relaxing of its annual licensing fee in the final days of the regular legislative session earlier this year but a deal didn’t get done. Prezioso believes that may have been for the best.

“It’s going to give us an interim session to look at this thing in a logical and orderly manner that we can maybe come forth with some legislation to help these folks out,” he said.

In the meantime, lawmakers urged the casino to work with the state Department Commerce on new signage as travelers get closer to Wheeling and possibly packaging the casino with other events and attractions in the area.


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  • blugldmn

    Marion county's bookmaker has spoken.
    Gambling is to big to fail!

  • takemetoemstar

    they have asked the state, cty and city (in the past) for help on an exit ramp for the casino.. never has happened. i realize it's a pretty expense venture, however, the state has sucked up the tax rev. for years from this facility where and when is there a giveback? we are indeed addicted to the gambling revenue, there has to be some cooperation and bring everyone to the "table." pun sorta intended. is TIF and option? i would think if we can do that for MOTOWN and a seasonal ballpark, we could do that for a year'round facility that shoots a hellava lot more tax revenue to charleston than a ballpark.

  • Sobonya4wvHouse

    During the interim study, I'd like to know how much money the gaming industry, which owns WV casinos, spent to push for gambling introduction or expansion in the states surrounding WV. If you create your own competition, your cries of despair fall on my deaf ears! If a McDonalds owner helped finance the opening of a Burger King just down the street, how sympathetic would you be for the McDonalds owner who starts suffering financially? Wake up WV. Casino industry used us as a stepping stone to larger markets playing both sides to the middle.

  • Wowbagger

    To begin they should drive by The Meadows, proceed to Wheeling and drive by the Wheeling Island Casino.

    The gambling industry played the West Virginia politicos to open up the region for gambling. Now they are done using West Virginia and just trying to squeeze out the last little bit of funding.

  • John Evans

    West Virginia could be the Colorado or Washington of the east. West Virginia could bring trillions of dollars of revenue if we legalized marijuana. However, the old voters in the state will not do it meanwhile Mexico, California, Colorado, and Washington have money for roads and bridges.

    • wvtd

      I could not agree more. legalize the stuff and stop wasting money on the police flying around looking for a few plants in peoples back yards while the heroine flows freely in Huntington.

  • tw eagle

    if the gambling community cannot make money in West Virginia , MOVE ON . . .



    • RogerD

      The mafia was more competent.


    never rely on gambling for revenue

    • NorthernWVman

      yep it sure is a big gamble