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Track owners fight history

31 July 2007

WEST VIRGINIA -- As reported by the Charleston Daily Mail: "A key theme in the campaign against table games is that operators of the Cross Lanes greyhound track have made substantial job-creation and expansion promises that they've failed to keep.

"Tri-State Racetrack & Gaming Center officials contend they should not be held accountable today for what happened two decades ago under different ownership.

"Dan Adkins, vice president of Michigan-based Hartman & Tyner, the corporate parent of Tri-State, said there is absolutely no doubt that his company will fulfill its pledge to build a 250-room hotel, convention center and entertainment venue if Kanawha County voters legalize table games Aug. 11.

"...Tri-State's first five years were marred by other controversies.

"Three months before the track opened, James W. McDavid, a partner in the track and then president of Nitro-based Union Boiler Co., was convicted in a multi-state bidding scheme.

"...Later, William T. Ellis, who also had a 20 percent ownership stake, spent 7 1/2 years in prison. Ellis was sentenced in 1990 after a federal jury found that he bribed lawmakers into passing legislation that awarded a larger share of dog track bets to track owners.

"...The controversy seemed to end once Hartman & Tyner acquired ownership.

"...Despite the less than sterling image of the track, the new owners were confident they could turn it around.

"...Another 1,000 jobs will be created if the voters legalize table games, Adkins said..."

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