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WV casino hosting lawmakers urges tax break

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CHARLESTON, WV (AP) — A West Virginia casino is invoking border state competition to urge the Legislature to reconsider gambling taxes.

Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack is helping to host lawmakers during this week's interim study meetings. Casino President and General Manager Osi Imomoh warned the House-Senate Finance Committee Friday that his venue is increasingly unable to compete with Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Imomoh said Wheeling Island's total business has declined by more than a third in the last three years. It's lost nearly three-fourths of its table games business. That prompted the casino to balk initially at renewing its $2.5 million table games license.

Imomoh calculated West Virginia's effective casino tax rate at 42 percent. He said that's the sixth largest in the U.S. He said lower taxes would leave more revenues for hiring and upgrades.

 

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