Poker Wins Big Vote in West Virginia

Pennsylvania feeling the pressure?

by , Dec 8, 2009 | 10:42 am

There was a little referendum this weekend that puts some more poker on the map in Darvin Moon Country …

Jefferson County, WV, approved “table games” — including blackjack, craps, roulette, three-card poker, and real poker — at the sure-to-be-renamed Charles Town Race and Slots. In fact, the poker room will likely open before the rest of the new-and-improved “racino” … with cards looking to get in the air by June 2010. The big cities likely to be feeding it players are Baltimore and Washington, DC.

It was a close-ish vote landslide victory, with 6,279 out of 10,622 votes cast supporting the measure — enough for poker to win in 29 out of 32 precincts.

Jefferson County had put the same issue to a vote in 2007 and it lost. Watch the commercial(s) below to see how one race track with a need for gambling was able to make a poker difference:

And though it’s not mentioned in the ads, on the go-table-games website ( ) they do discuss competition from neighboring states as one of the reasons they needed to act now. Indeed, though Pennsylvania legislators have been dilly-dallying for nearly a year on their poker expansion, their House will be debating the practicalities of expanding gambling (in a way that includes poker) today.

Perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not, a Pennsylvania company got the contract to supply all the tables to Charles Town.

ALT HED: Poker = Jobs

9 Comments to “Poker Wins Big Vote in West Virginia”

  1. Kevin Mathers

    From articles I’ve read, roulette, blackjack and craps are the first games to be added at Charles Town (and that’s six months away).

  2. DanM

    From the first link in the post:

    Officials say the games could be up and running by June, with poker perhaps coming online before the other games.

    Al Britton, general manager of Charles Town Races & Slots, said Monday that poker tables will likely be in a separate area from other games, like craps, roulette and three-card poker, and could open up sooner as a result. Training periods for poker and blackjack dealers are shorter than for some other games, he added.

    Officials say no additional construction will be required at the facility as they prepare for the games’ addition.

  3. Kevin Mathers

    Well, that’s what I get for not reading the link. Thanks for the pwning Dan.

  4. DanM

    It’s a pleasure to take one down every once in a while, Kevmath.

    I’m pretty confident when it comes to politics (though I initially wrote this post thinking Jefferson County was in Maryland) … and I think you’ve usually got me when it comes to Poker on TV stuff.

  5. zachdealer

    I’ll be looking into this, I know people that are from west virginia and it’s the most peaceful/beautiful state in the U.S

    I might visit and see if it’s good for me.

  6. BJ Nemeth

    West Virginia is one of only six states that I haven’t visited yet. Now I have a reason to go.

  7. BJ Nemeth

    Question — What allows this to be decided on the county level? Is there a bill at the state level that allows counties to determine the extent of gambling allowed? Does anyone know the limits of the statewide legislation?

  8. Kevin Mathers

    In 2007, the WV state legislature allowed each county that had a racetrack a vote on adding table games. Jefferson County, where Charles Town Races and Slots is located, had a vote earlier to allow table games, and it was voted down.

  9. DanM

    Mathers is correct. WV has had legal poker (and casino games) for a couple years … Charles Town is just one place that voted against the gambling expansion two years ago. I guess the economy was different then.