House Votes to End Casino Upgrade Fund

Mar 25, 2017

West Virginia House of Delegates.
Credit Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photograhy

The House of Delegates passed a bill that would end the Racetrack Modernization Fund three years early.

The fund was created by the Legislature in 2011 to provide matching dollars for the state’s four racetrack casinos to upgrade video lottery and other digital games.

According to the casinos, the fund allows them to keep up with competition from other states. For every $2 the casino spends, the state matches the facility $1.

When it was created, the fund received $10 million annually that could roll over year-to-year, but was decreased in recent years. It currently contains $7.5 million.

According to the bill, any upgrades that were planned by March 1, 2017, will still receive funding, but the rest of the money will return to the state’s general revenue fund.

Several delegates who represent the Eastern and Northern Panhandles expressed opposition to the bill - where three of the four casinos reside.

The bill passed on a close vote of 50 to 46, with four members not voting.