No Ruling Yet in West Virginia Exclusions

No ruling was issued July 8 after a hearing in the ongoing exclusion case involving horsemen at Charles Town Races & Slots in West Virginia.

The hearing was held in Kanawha County, W.Va., Circuit Court. The horsemen are attempting to have the West Virginia Racing Commission hold hearings on their exclusion; track owner Penn National Gaming Inc. is seeking to stop the action.

Both sides were told to prepare proposed orders in the case, said Doug McSwain, the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association general counsel who is representing Dick and Janene Watson and Patty Burns. The judge can sign one of the orders, who prepare his own, when the next hearing is held.

“The judge had a lot of hard questions for both sides,” McSwain said. “He’s going all the way to the heart of the question.”

The next hearing date hasn’t been set. It’s widely believed the ruling will be appealed to the West Virginia Supreme Court by either side.

The WVRC planned to hold hearings on the exclusions, but PNGI appealed through the court system. Observers believe the case and its outcome could set precedent.

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