Charles Town Races and Slots to file for special election
August 11, 2009
Charles Town Races and Slots intends to file a request for a special election in Jefferson County, West Virginia, to seek voter approval for table games at Charles Town Races and Slots, according to Penn National Gaming. Charles Town Races and Slots expects to submit the filing in September with the special election to be held on Dec. 5.
Since being acquired by Penn National Gaming in 1997, the historic Charles Town Races facility has been completely revitalized through more than $300 million of capital investments, the company said. These investments have restored live thoroughbred racing and created a broad-based regional entertainment complex featuring slot machines, live entertainment, diverse food and beverage offerings, expanded parking and a 153-room hotel that opened in 2008.
“Throughout its ownership, Penn National has worked closely with local officials, the county development office, residents and the horsemen to re-establish Charles Town as an outstanding thoroughbred race track facility, a quality entertainment center and a significant economic contributor to the region,” said Peter M. Carlino, chairman and chief executive officer of Penn National Gaming.
“Residents of Jefferson County have benefited from the partnership that has developed between the facility and the county and will gain further from the installation of table games. The passage of the table game referendums in 2007 in Hancock, Ohio and Kanawha counties has demonstrated that such legislation will further boost tax revenue for schools and needed community infrastructure improvements. In addition, local residents will benefit from the 600 new jobs we expect to add based on continued enhancements to Charles Town including the placement of table games. Given the current state of the economy and the ongoing expansion of gaming in neighboring states, table games are an important addition that will keep Charles Town Races & Slots and Jefferson County competitive in today’s marketplace. We are committed to working with all involved parties to achieve this goal.”
In March 2007, the governor of West Virginia signed into law the West Virginia Lottery Racetrack Table Games Act, which allowed the four existing horse and dog tracks in the State to offer table games subject to local voter approval. Since in June 2007, three of the four counties that have racetracks have approved table games. In June 2009 the West Virginia Legislature amended the existing law to double the percentage of table games revenues kept by Jefferson County’s local governments, with an estimated $6.4 million to be generated for the Board of Education, County Commission and five municipalities.
The 250-acre Charles Town facility is located less than one hour from Baltimore and about 90 minutes from Washington, D.C.
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