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Greenbrier knows when to fold 'em

It really shouldn't come as a surprise that the president of The Greenbrier plans to keep fighting to bring a casino to his resort hotel.

There is plenty of money at stake.

The resort likely would profit from a casino, and one estimate -- from one of the casino proposal's opponents -- indicates more than $1 million may have been spent in the effort to get the gambling measure passed by Greenbrier County voters.

That said, we're glad the people of Greenbrier County voted against the measure. As we said before, casino gambling, once it gets a foothold, undoubtedly would spread throughout our state.

We're not interested in becoming the next Atlantic City or the next Las Vegas. Those places might be a lot of fun, but who's going to argue that those places don't have their share of shady characters or organizations?

It's just not worth it.

Greenbrier President Ted Kleisner undoubtedly is dead serious when he says he will get the issue put on the Greenbrier County ballot again in 2002.

And the pro-gambling campaign may be even more efficient this time; the proponents of the casino in the former congressional bunker at the resort likely have learned how to streamline their efforts.

Of course, opponents have learned better how to do battle, too.

We hope they continue fighting the good fight.

And we would suggest that Gov.-elect Bob Wise work behind the scenes -- or perhaps with the Legislature -- to dissuade The Greenbrier.

Again, as we've pointed out before, there is plenty else going right for West Virginia now. We believe the Mountain State is about to blossom, thanks to the continuing arrival of high-tech businesses. We also think you'll see more planned communities like the one that's coming to Bridgeport. People in bigger states like Maryland and Virginia want beauty and a slower pace; with high-tech companies, they will be able to live here and have that natural beauty.

However, a reputation as another Atlantic City or Las Vegas could quickly kill that. We can't think of many people who would choose to have their kids grow up in that kind of atmosphere.

Again, we want to thank the fine folks in Greenbrier County for helping the rest of us out.

And we hope those who voted against the measure will remain steadfast in their resolve to prevent gambling in their backyards.

In the long term, we think their action will make a big difference in -- as Wise puts it -- moving West Virginia forward "farther, faster."

Today's editorial reflects the opinion of the Exponent editorial board, which is comprised of James G. Logue, Kevin S. Courtney, Patrick M. Martin, Matt Harvey, Nora Edinger and J. Cecil Jarvis.

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