achievement. He also disputed whether low-income people are the majority
of video poker gamblers.
"My observation is that all economic groups are pushing the button,"
Wise said. "If I play this machine, at least I get one guaranteed
But the Rev. Nathan Wilson disagrees with that observation. Wilson is
an anti-gambling activist and director of the West Virginia Council of
"Every study I've read says low-income people are disproportionately
hurt by gambling," Wilson said.
Wilson also questioned the wisdom of basing a major social program on a
funding source like gambling, which is subject to wide fluctuations. The
program is estimated to cost $25 million in its first year. Wise
"There's nothing more unstable than having no source of funding, which
is the present situation," Wise said.
Wise supported giving Greenbrier County voters the option to
allow casino gambling at The Greenbrier hotel. He would not rule out
giving other counties the same option, although he said he'd be reluctant
to do so. Wise's campaign manager, Steve F. White of the Charleston law
firm Goodwin and Goodwin, has lobbied for a state racetrack at the
Wise criticized Underwood for refusing to use state troopers to
coming up from South Carolina and taking over the state like kudzu and the
fire ant, he said.
Wise joked that he might name Cabell County Sheriff Hercil
Gartin to enforce gambling laws in the state. Gartin has made headlines
with several raids on establishments where illegal video poker machines
payouts have been witnessed.
"If Sheriff Gartin can do it in Cabell County, why can't the State
Police?" Wise said.
To contact staff writer Scott Finn, use e-mail or call 357-4323.