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West Virginia casinos seek break from taxes, racing

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s four racetrack casinos want the Legislature to cut their taxes and fees as surrounding states increasingly compete for their gamblers.

A bill introduced Wednesday would also allow the four casinos to scale back racing operations to save money.

The measure would slash the annual fee casinos pay to host table games from $2.5 million to $1 million. The fees benefit senior citizen programs. The bill would offset the revenue drop by tapping the purse fund that pays race winners.

The state’s share of table game proceeds would drop from 35 percent of gross receipts to 25 percent under the bill. That would have cut state revenues by $7.8 million during the last budget year.

The bill would also reduce the minimum number of racing days to 150.

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