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Panel has ideas for saving W.Va. racing industries

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — In the future, the state’s thoroughbred and greyhound racing industries could feature:

| Off-track betting at upscale sports bars and, perhaps, country clubs around the state.

| Racetrack-sponsored social gaming sites with prizes, such as free hotel accommodations, redeemable at the racetracks.

| More flexibility for the state Racing Commission to reduce or increase racing days at the state’s four tracks, based on fluctuations in purse fund revenues.

| Legalized sports betting at the racetracks.

Those were some of the proposals offered Tuesday by a panel appointed by the state Racing Commission, that has spent the past five weeks brainstorming ways to reinvigorate the state’s struggling thoroughbred and greyhound racing industries.

For Racing Commissioner Bill Phillips, who first proposed the study panel, the most encouraging sign was seeing trainers, owners, breeders, and racetrack and casino management working together to try to save the racing industry…

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