That prompted editorials in the Wheeling newspapers and the Daily Mail calling for elimination of the racing subsidies, if not outright elimination of greyhound racing.
"We know of no other type of business that receives subsidies like those awarded to the dog and horse racing industries," the editorial in the Wheeling papers stated. "The breeders funds should be phased out, with money that now flows into them going instead to local and state governments. That could replace some of the revenue lost because of competition from Ohio and Pennsylvania."
Speaking of the lottery, a couple of weeks ago I wrote that it's hard to feel a lot of sympathy for limited video lottery distributors and retailers who are getting shook down by slots manufacturer IGT to the tune of $20 million of $30 million to upgrade or replace machines, considering that many of those businesses began as illegal gray machine operations.
That prompted a call from a retired law enforcement officer who finds it unsettling that in his home of Harrison County, three of the five biggest limited video lottery (LVL) operations are affiliated with police organizations: Fraternal Order of Police Mountaineer Lodge 78, West Virginia State Lodge FOP, and Blue Knights of West Virginia II.
In January alone, the three lodges cleared $222,184 of profit off of $796,209 of LVL dollar-in.
After spending the 1980s and '90s raiding video gambling establishments, the retired officer said he finds it disconcerting that police organizations are profiting from gambling and drinking. (And possibly, smoking, since the three lodges are backing an effort to stack the membership of the county health department in order to repeal the county's smoking ban ... )
Not to mention the potential embarrassment of having on-duty brethren pull over patrons of the lodges for DUI ...
Finally, quote of the week: "It was more of a condition of employment than a personal choice." -- Me, explaining to Senate administrative assistant Lynette Maselli why I was on Twitter, some two weeks after telling her I had no intention of ever twittering. Actually, it hasn't been as bad as I envisioned, and if this delve into modern technology goes well, who knows, a cellphone could be in the offing at some point in the future ...
Readers are invited to follow at @PhilKabler. Same clever insights -- just in 140 characters, not 800 words.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.