I just wanted to quickly mention that today marks the start of table gaming in two Northeastern West Virginia counties.
With a snip of a ribbon, poker games were officially under way at Wheeling Island Racetrack & Gaming Center Friday morning. Both Wheeling Island and Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort were given the official OK to start poker play Friday. About 80 new employees at Wheeling Island began their first eight-hour shift after a 10 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony. Bob Marshall, president of Wheeling Island Racetrack, said the poker room will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Earlier in the morning, people lined up waiting to put on their poker faces and win big. Some, like Leroy Waddell and his wife, drove from Columbus for the debut. Others, like Terry Kadan, came from Pittsburgh to be one of the first to play cards at the facility. While most of the focus was on Friday's unveiling, there is still much more to come, Marshall said. Construction continues on the main gaming floor, where they will have games like craps, roulette and blackjack. Marshall said if all goes well, opening the main gaming floor could come as early as Jan. 1, 2008.
The Wheeling Island racetrack and Gaming Center is also reporting that all of it's hotel rooms are booked for the weekend.
I'm sure these table games will bring some problems to our area but I'm also extremely hopeful. I think that they could, when added to other recent developments, be exactly the shot in the arm that the local economy needs.