That's very peculiar, as if the Lottery was going out of its way to create loopholes for The Greenbrier.
It's as if casino management asked for clarification about the legal age to gamble in the state, and instead of being advised that patrons must be 21 or older, were given a list of indicators that a person is not of legal age, for instance, if they are enrolled in high school, if they have a graduated driver's license, or if they cannot register to vote.
Then, if a 19- or 20-year-old were in the casino, management could say, hey, he didn't fall under any of the stated criteria for being underage. Likewise, the convoluted policy statement currently gives casino management the plausible deniability to say, hey, we didn't know casino day trips were not events under the law.
I talked to a former casino employee prior to the Lottery Commission meeting Tuesday, and he suggested that regardless of whatever action the Lottery took, The Greenbrier would continue busing gamblers in.
Indeed, a day after The Greenbrier's attorney assured commissioners that a cease-and-desist was in place, the buses were still rolling into the casino.
Turns out, Greenbrier had not stopped the casino day trips -- but had instructed tour companies to stop advertising them as gambling trips.
In fact, Justice was quoted in the Beckley paper suggesting that the third-party advertising was the gaming law violation that drew the Lottery Commission's scrutiny.
Which is another smoke screen. Unlike Limited Video Lottery, where licensees are strictly prohibited from advertising, nothing in the historic hotel gaming law prohibits advertising or promoting the casino.
Currently, there's a speak-easy atmosphere in place, at least at Abbott Trailways of Roanoke, Va., the biggest operator of the casino day trips. They've pulled advertising promoting the tours as gambling trips, but callers who inquire about the trips are assured casino access is still provided.
(On the other hand, I'm not sure that bus company ads for "Greenbrier buffet lunch day trips" will generate the same amount of interest as "Greenbrier casino day trips." Or, changing their slogan for The Greenbrier day trips from "We drive, you play," to "We drive, you eat ...")
The violation is not advertising the casino day trips. The violation is in claiming the gambling excursions are events under the state Lottery law.
Finally, even after partaking of the entrée, I'm still not sure if the Oct. 23 daily special listed on the Capitol Food Court's web page was a typo or not: "Spaghetti with mean sauce."
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.