On November 25th, 2007, local horse racing tracks are currently trying to improve their bottom line with poker games. According to the results from the West Virginia Lottery Commission, from October 20th, 2007 through November 17th, 2007, the Mountaineer Casino Resort and Racing track in Chester has earned $711,352 in poker profits while the Wheeling Island Racetrack and Gambling Facility has earned $637,337 in total profits.
This is aside from the slot machines profits of $20.2 million for Mountaineer during the October 20th, 2007 to November 17th, 2007 fiscal period and $14.6 million for Wheeling Island. Mountaineer had a total casino profit of $20.9 million while Wheeling Island earned $15.26 million.
Wheeling Island spokesperson Kim Florence commented that poker has fulfilled all of their expectations. Robert Marshall, Wheeling Island's President and General Manager said that they are very excited that all of the things are coming together now and it is starting to look like a real casino.
The lawyer for the West Virginia Lottery Commission, John Melton commented that poker is a good offering for customers but does not result in a direct profit for the racing tracks. What cash that is earned from the game comes from the rake; 10% of the cash pot. Melton commented that compared with craps, roulette and blackjack players-poker players compete against other players, not the casino. That is what local track officials are eagerly waiting for.
The opening of craps, roulette and blackjack games will be on January 1st, 2008 but it is likely that it will start earlier as soon as Wheeling Island held their charity poker night on December 17th, 2007-December 18th, 2007. Local horse racing officials firmly believe that the additional profits from these pit games will cover their losses to the Meadows Racetrack and Gaming Center in Pennsylvania.
Profit from The Meadows between October 20th, 2007-November 17th, 2007 was $20.5 million or $5.2 million more than Wheeling Island. Officials in Pennsylvania are already planning to allow casino table games in their own racing track.
On September 2007, Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Bill DeWeese-Democrat from Waynesburg commented that House Bill 2121 would allow casino table games at the Meadows and other Keystone State tracks. While DeWeese's press secretary Tom Andrews said that is unlikely that the proposal would be passed into law during the two-year session there is a strong chance that it could pass in four years, which means that the Mountain State could again look for another source of income.
Marshall said that it may take years for casino table games to be approved in Pennsylvania. The vice president and general manager of The Meadows said that a bigger facility will be opened in January 2009 that can accommodate 3,000 slot machines.
12/09/2007 06:30 PM