Earlier this year, management of the hardest-hit casino, Wheeling Island, indicated the casino is losing money on labor-intensive table games, and does not intend to renew its state table games license on July 1 at the current rate of $2.5 million.
Under the state law legalizing table games at the four casinos, the license fees totaling $10 million a year go to the Bureau of Senior Services to fund in-home care services.
Under Snyder's amendment, the table games license fee would drop to $1.5 million at all four casinos, but the $5 million from the modernization fund would provide a total of $11 million each year for in-home care programs.
The original bill would set a sliding fee of between $1.5 million and $2.5 million, using a formula based on table games revenues for each casino for the previous year.
That would generate $7 million a year, supplemented with $3 million from the purse fund, to keep the in-home services account at $10 million a year.
The bill goes to Senate Finance.
Also Thursday, the Judiciary Committee advanced a bill to license a sixth casino in the state, at a "rural resort community" in a county with less than 10,000 population (SB492).
Modeled after the legislation authorizing a casino at The Greenbrier resort, the license would be intended for the planned Fisher Mountain Resort development on the site of the Highlands Golf Course near Franklin in Pendleton County.
Project backer Steve Conrad told the committee the casino resort would revitalize the economically hard-hit county.
"Economically, we need some relief, and we see this as the best opportunity we've had in a long time," he said.
The bill also goes to the Finance Committee for further consideration.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.