Don’t Cut Local Gambling Proceeds

Among the biggest worries faced by officials in Wheeling – and other city and county governments throughout West Virginia – is a proposal to reduce their shares of revenue from legalized gambling.

The scheme has been suggested as a way to help the state balance its budget.

As Wheeling Mayor Andy McKenzie has pointed out – and may emphasize today in his “State of the City” speech – that would create problems for local governments. Wheeling officials say the state plan could cost this city $250,000 a year.

As we have pointed out, taking that money away would be wrong, especially in the cases of localities where table gambling casinos are located. When residents of Wheeling and other communities voted to approve table gambling, they were promised shares of the proceeds.

State legislators should reject the proposal that those shares be reduced substantially. Doing otherwise would send the message that promises from Charleston are not to be believed.