by John Kady
An audit of a vote on table games at a Greyhound racetrack near Charleston, W.Va., showed the measure passed 23,192-22,849, but there has been a call for a recount.
Voters in Kanawha County went to the polls Aug. 11 to vote on the expansion of gambling at Tri-State Racetrack and Gaming Center, which already has video lottery terminals. Initial reports showed the measure passed by only about 30 votes, but the audit showed the margin at more than 300.
Voters earlier had approved table games in Hancock County for Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort, and in Ohio County for Wheeling Island Racetrack & Gaming Center, another dog track. Voters in Jefferson County rejected the measure for Charles Town Races & Slots.
The West Virginia legislature earlier this year passed a bill allow local-option votes on table games, which are expected to bring millions of dollars in revenue. Tracks will be able to add blackjack, craps, poker, and roulette.
According to public reports, the former director of a state program for gambling addicts has asked for a recount in Kanawha County. More than 46,000 ballots would need to be recounted.
Tri-State is located about 40 minutes from the eastern Kentucky border. If the referendum withstands the challenge, it would become the closest full-scale land-based casino in Kentucky, where expanded gambling is an issue in this year's gubernatorial race.