Church groups planning gambling protest in W. Va.

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Table games still controversial in West Virginia.

Tensions will be high in the Kanawha County Commission courtroom tonight, as commissioners in West Virginia's largest county vote on the contentious addition of table games to the county's racetrack and casino.

Church groups in particular are expected out in force, voicing their discontent as part of an ongoing campaign by the West Virginia Council of Churches against the expansion of gambling.

Business leaders see the addition of table games as a boost to the dilapidated West Virginia economy, offering new revenue and jobs, while the church groups argue organized gambling is a menace to society and a slippery slope for working families.

Kanawha is the last of four counties to vote on the controversial bill passed last March that gave citizens in the counties with racetracks and slot-machine casinos - Ohio, Jefferson, Kanawha and Hancock - the option to legalize table games.

Voters in Ohio and Hancock County have already approved the games, while Jefferson County decided against them.

Voters in Kanawha will decide for themselves Aug. 11, when they're allowed to vote on the issue.

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