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Bad deal for local horsemen

By Staff | Oct 23, 2009

I’ve been a supporter of the local horse industry all my life. It provides thousands of jobs, sustainable agriculture, and keeps our county beautiful.

When I found out the current table games bill would kill the local horse industry, I got mad enough to write this letter.

This is the worst bill I’ve ever seen. If our Legislature had passed this bill back in 1996 and given horsemen such a minuscule percentage, the Video Lottery referendum would have been soundly defeated. Tge VLT bill gives horsemen $14 per $100 of revenue. The table games bill gives them 60 cents. That’s outrageous. How are they supposed to make a living when the cost of everything keeps going up?

Back in 1996 Penn National said they were “committed to building thoroughbred racing … we’re not a casino.” We thought they were sincere.

Back then they promised our taxes wouldn’t go up if we voted in slots; my taxes went up 30 percent! Back then they told us a vote for video lottery was a vote for education. What did the teachers get?

I got news for everybody; they’ll promise anything to get us to vote “Yes,” but will our taxes go up again? How will our teachers benefit?

I guess Penn National has switched horses; now they are all about slots and atable gambling and are leaving horse racing in the dust. That’s their choice.

Our choice is clear; Vote “No.” Tell Charleston we don’t want table gaming at the expense of our local horse industry.

Jack Huyett

Charles Town