It also would allow tracks to cut live racing days to 150 days a year, and would put restrictions on how horsemen's benevolent associations at the two horse tracks can spend their portions of purse funds.
Sen. Mike Green, D-Raleigh, the lead sponsor of the bill, said he believes there is interest in the Legislature to assure that the casinos continue to provide a major source of state revenue.
"When you look at the competition across the state borders and what's happening to the bottom line," he said, "we're looking at giving them the opportunity to reassess their business plans by reducing the license fees and taxes."
Green said he expects thoroughbred and greyhound owners and breeders to oppose the bill, since they would see cuts to purse and breeders funds, but said the Legislature has to deal with the ongoing reality of declining revenue from the racetrack casinos.
"Ultimately," he said, "the bill is going to be at the forefront of what we'll have to do over the next few years."
State Lottery Director John Musgrave was traveling Wednesday and not available for comment.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.