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WV horse tracks to feel bigger pinch in subsidy cuts

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — What legislators envisioned as a major cut in greyhound racing subsidies will actually have a bigger impact on West Virginia’s two thoroughbred racetracks, members of the state Racing Commission learned Tuesday.

However, what looks like a $4.1 million funding cut on paper will only be about half that amount, because of ongoing declines in the racetrack video lottery revenue that funds the racing subsidies, acting executive director Joe Moore told the commission.

In the budget bill passed June 14, the Legislature cut the portion of racetrack purse fund subsidies that it has authority to appropriate from $14.1 million to $10 million and renamed the line item from the “Licensed Racetrack Regular Purse Fund,” to the “Licensed Racetrack Thoroughbred Regular Purse Fund.”

As Moore explained Tuesday, “They said, ‘We’re going to appropriate $10 million, but we’re only going to appropriate it to the thoroughbred purse fund.’ ”

 In signing the budget bill on June 17, though, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin line-item vetoed the designation for thoroughbred racing only…

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