WV 'Interagency Agreement' Tabled by Panel

Attorneys told the racing commission April 16 they hadn't seen the document.

The West Virginia Racing Commission April 16 deferred action on a controversial agreement that would place the commission and other agencies under the West Virginia Lottery Commission, which oversees video lottery terminals at the state's four racetracks.

Action on an agreement horsemen and Greyhound trainers view as an attempt to perhaps eliminate an agency that solely regulates horse and dog racing has now been tabled by the WVRC for three consecutive meetings.

The "interagency agreement," as it is called, would put West Virginia Lottery Commission director John Musgrave over other agencies–the WVRC, Alcohol and Beverage Control Commission, and Athletic Commission. The plan is said to be designed to bring efficiency to the agencies.

WVRC chairman Jack Rossi at the April 16 asked for a motion, and it was moved to table the agreement. Lawyers in the state Attorney General's office and attorneys for Thoroughbred and Greyhound groups said they hadn't seen the document, and therefore action should be tabled.

An attorney for the Charles Town Horsemen's Benevolent and Protection Association told the racing commission it didn't follow an open-discussions law in the state.

In 2009 former Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin, now a United States senator, attempted to win support for legislation that would have combined the agencies. It was soundly defeated in the House of Delegates in part because of opposition from the horse and dog racing industries.