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Table games promises include careful omissions

By Staff | Oct 30, 2009

Casino promoters promise 500 jobs if table games passes. They carefully omit any details of these jobs. Why? Most of the jobs will be low-paying entry-level jobs such as hotel maids, waitresses, cashiers, and security guards. If you happen to have experience, chances are you’ll be rejected as over-qualified for these entry-level positions, just ask those who’ve applied in the past.

Many of these positions will eventually be filled with young adults from foreign countries as they have before. Foreign workers are a favorite of the casinos; they don’t have to pay these “externs” overtime or benefits. Many dealer jobs will not necessarily be new jobs for current citizens of Jefferson County because trained dealers will be transferred in from other areas.

How did the promise of jobs hold up at Mountaineer Park Racetrack? Since table games were introduced, there have been three sets of layoffs totaling over 300 positions. Table gaming was a big reason why purses were cut for horsemen, since horsemen only get 60 cents per $100 of revenue for table games in comparison to $14 per $100 for slots.

Can you imagine how this will affect our county’s horse-related jobs?

According to the TRA economic impact study published in 2007, the thoroughbred framing industry in the Eastern Panhandle supports over 3,600 jobs related to the local horse industry – grooms, jockeys, trainers, vets, blacksmiths, farmers, etc. With the decrease of purse revenue, these jobs are at risk. No money, no jobs.

Table gaming promoters paint a rosy picture of jobs here in Jefferson County, but the impact of table games at Mountaineer Park had completely opposite results.

Vote “No” on Dec. 5.

Lynn Welsh

Summit Point