After Marylanders gave the nod to expand gambling in the state, neighboring West Virginia is concerned. Jefferson County Commission President Patsy Noland said she believes it's going to take a toll on the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races and Slots. "We have a lot of folks who travel here from Maryland. I don't know what the projected figures are. We've heard somewhere in the neighborhood of 40% of table game revenue could be affected. It will definitely have an impact on Jefferson County," said Noland.
She said the Jefferson County School Board will also suffer. "Since 2010 the schools have been getting a percentage of the table games. This year they got close to $5 million," said Noland.
The West Virginia Lottery Commission said the casino in Charles Town is one of the most profitable in the state of West Virginia, and any change that stands to potentially impact that particular establishment can be considered of significant value to the commission.
Millions of dollars of gaming revenue are poured into numerous departments in West Virginia.
WFMD reached out several times to speak with Penn National Gaming, Inc., the owners of Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. Karen Bailey, the Director of Public Affairs, issued a statement in a press release. It read: "We are obviously disappointed in the results in Maryland. We spent a lot of time, energy and resources to educate voters on the flaws of Issue 7. We appreciate all those who stood up against this unseemly back room deal with National Harbor and for those who supported Rosecroft having a fair opportunity to compete for a gaming license in Maryland, and to help secure the long term viability of racing in Maryland."
According to the most recent tourism student of Jefferson County, gaming accounted for $910,426 in tourism revenue on a daily average. The Jefferson County Commission received $1,596,522.94 in revenue from table games as reported from its most recent fiscal year. "We will make major adjustments during our budget meetings which will be held in the next several months," continued Noland.