Gambling opponents fail to show at video lottery hearing in Kanawha County

By Scott Finn 

In Kanawha County, pundits and talk radio hosts are predicting that an anti-gambling backlash is coming. They say it will be directed at video lottery retailers — the bars and other establishments that offer video slot machines, poker and other games. 

Last week, U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin struck down state rules that limited how neighborhood slot parlors could advertise. Now they are free to use words like “lucky” and “casino” in their ads – but some operators are worried that the increased visibility could hurt their cause in the Legislature. 

And in August, county voters approved table games at Tri-State Racetrack and Gaming Center by the narrowest of margins, about one-half of one percent of the vote. 

But there was little sign of an anti-gambling backlash last night at the first of a series of public hearings on these mini-casinos. The anti-gambling forces, by and large, didn’t show.

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