Approve New Casino for W.Va.

Every one of the big racetrack/casinos in West Virginia either has been hit hard by competition from other states or will be soon. Here in the Northern Panhandle, where two of the four are located, an enormous amount of business has been siphoned away from the Wheeling Island and Mountaineer Park gambling venues.

The Cross Lanes casino near Charleston probably will be hurt more in the future by Ohio gambling facilities. And the Charles Town track, in Jefferson County, may be going strong now, but will lose customers once gambling gets up and running in Maryland. The fifth casino, at The Greenbrier resort, is not a large-scale venture.

Now it is being proposed the state Legislature approve a plan to establish a new gambling casino and resort in Pendleton County, near Virginia.

Since West Virginians already allow full-scale table gambling at other locations, there should be no objection to that.

To the contrary, it seems like a good idea. Virginia does not have legalized gambling anywhere near the scale present here. The new Pendleton County casino would draw much of its business from the Old Dominion.

A new casino not facing an out-of-state competitor could bring in a substantial amount of revenue for local and state governments in West Virginia, offsetting to some extent losses from the existing casinos. Lawmakers should approve the proposal.