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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

West Virginia Republican Party Calls Bill Pure Unadulterated Highway Robbery

Will WVGOP Pressure Stop Acting Governor Tomblin From Signing Bill Into Effect??... by Jack Swint

“Not even Billy the Kid could have dreamed up such a robbery. There is no question that the bill should be vetoed. There is no need to back up the cash trucks to the backdoor when the Legislature is allowing you in the front.” … Media Alert, issued by the WVGOP March 28, 2011. Contact person, Mike Stuart.

Waiting for acting Governor Early Ray Tomblin’s signature, is a bill that will establish the Licensed Racetrack Modernization Fund which will provide as much as $100 million of taxpayer dollars directly to West Virginia gaming companies which are owned and operated by out of state corporations worth billions of dollars.

Bottom line, this is nothing more than creating a legal kickback using a rebate scheme for the terminology.

This bill is not aimed at helping the people of WV. The money spent is going into the already deep pockets of not only the out of state casino owners, but also to the out of state video lottery machines companies whose sales will go up from the purchase of new terminals.

According to a March 28th 2011 media alert from the WV Republican Party, the bill, known as SB 550 provides casino owners a form of rebate. …”For every $2 spent on purchasing new video lottery terminals and related equipment by the gaming operators, the state would give the casino $1. The fund is capped at $10 million a year divided between the state’s casinos and lasts 10 years for a total payout of subsidies of $100 million.” The bill has not yet been signed into law by Senate President acting as Governor Tomblin.

“It is pure unadulterated highway robbery. The Democrats $100 million taxpayers give-away to private companies is not only outrageous but it may be the closest thing to legalized robbery that the Legislature has ever passed," said Mike Stuart, Chairman of the West Virginia Republican Party. “Not even Billy the Kid could have dreamed up such a robbery. There is no question that the bill should be vetoed. There is no need to back up the cash trucks to the backdoor when the Legislature is allowing you in the front.”“$100 million in pure financial giveaways to companies like Penn National that claim the need for the subsidies because of out of state competition,” said Stuart.

“Penn National is the competition. They are a $2.5 billion dollar company with gaming operations across the country and now we are asked to subsidize their operations because of competition they own and created. It is grossly outrageous.”

“West Virginia families are struggling to get by in this tough economy – losing jobs, homes, and fearful of the future,” continued Stuart. “How can the Democrats justify giving a $100 million dollar check to big multi-national corporations that are almost entirely owned by out of state stockholders when West Virginia companies like Blenko Glass, Flowers Baking Company and WV Steel are closing or struggling just to keep the doors open? Where are their subsidies? Profitable billion dollar corporations are being given $100 million from the Legislature yet companies located and based in West Virginia with owners, stockholders and investors from the state cannot survive.”

“This is not about gambling in any sense. This is about giving $100 million dollars away to large corporations that are already highly profitable - the very same corporations that own and created the very competition for which they claim the absolute need for financial relief,” said Stuart. “Every company needs to invest to compete but private companies should compete with their money – not ours. We are opposed to giving $100 million of taxpayer money to any profitable company – gambling or otherwise.”

“If Tomblin signs the bill, he owns the give-away,” said Stuart. “Tomblin can stop this $100 million robbery with a mere pen and the word “Veto”.

In Closing,

We will say it since everyone else already thinks it, but won’t say. In a time when a special election for governor is right around the corner, could Tomblin benefit from signing this bill into law now?? Like from financial contributions and or votes from the gaming industry interests and their friends?

In past elections, some of Tomblin’s largest contributors have come from the gambling industries interests. And, let’s not forget his already ties to the gaming industry with his immediate family’s involvement with greyhound dog racing at both tracks in Cross Lanes and Wheeling. The money that helps pay their winnings comes from money taken in by the video terminals.

To put it kindly, this bill is nothing more than a $100 million rebate to the casino’s to purchase new terminals. Also, the machine manufacturers will benefit as well because their sales will go up too.

According to the state lottery revenue links below, the casinos are not hurting financially. Just the net “terminal revenue” alone year to date (Jan 1 to March 19th 2011) is Five Hundred Million Seven Hundred Thirty One Thousand Nine Hundred Forty Three Dollars. ($500,731,943)

A PDF link below is provided showing who voted for and against SB 550.

End Of Story

Jack Swint - Publisher


PDF Showing Who Voted For & Against SB 550

2011 Lottery Revenues
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