07/02/2007 12:00AM

Mountaineer to get table games


Voters in Hancock County, W.Va., approved a measure Saturday that will allow Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort to operate casino-type table games such as poker, blackjack, and roulette.

The measure, which passed 5-3, was placed on the ballot after the state legislature earlier this year allowed for referenda on table games in each of the four counties that have parimutuel facilities. The measure had already been defeated in Jefferson County, the location of Charles Town Races and Slots, but had passed in Ohio County, home to Wheeling Island Racetrack and Gaming Center, a greyhound track and casino.

Horsemen at Mountaineer will receive 2.5 percent of the revenue from table games, and the state's breeding program will receive 2 percent. Last year, the horsemen's share of revenue from slot machines at the state's tracks was cut in order to fund workers' compensation programs.

Purses at Mountaineer have averaged approximately $140,000 a night through the first half of the year.

Officials for Mountaineer have said they plan to have areas of the casino ready for table games by September.