FUENTE: METRO NEWS, WEST VIRGINIA
26 / OCTUBRE / 2009
The West Virginia Association for Gamecock Sports hopes to find a wingman in the state’s four casinos. The group wants to legalize the sport and spokesman Bradford Parker says the best way to do that is to get the casinos involved.
“If this is going to be legalized, it needs to be brought up in an area where it’s already regulated. We think the casinos are already well regulated and cock fights would be an additional game that could make millions of dollars for the tax payers,” Parker told MetroNews.
The association kicked off their campaign Monday in front of the state capitol. A man dressed in a chicken suit passed out flyers that read “Stop Criminalizing Our Culture.”
Parker says they’ve already been in touch with the state’s four casinos and have the backing of several lawmakers. The group plans on opening an office in Charleston and hiring lobbyists to get the word out.
“Everybody knows what’s taking place in barns and garages across West Virginia,” Parker said. “It only makes sense to bring it out from the shadows so it can be taxed and properly regulated.”
According to a study done by the WV Assoc. of Gamecock Sports, 38 percent of West Virginians have either been to a cock fight or know folks who go. Parker says they plan to build on that base and hopefully increase their membership that currently stands at about 1,000.
Parker knows the push won’t be popular with PETA or the Humane Society, but says West Virginians should have the right to fight.
“Right now the elites are criminalizing cultural activities that came here with the Pilgrims and they’re leaving potential millions in tax revenue uncollected and useless to the citizens of West Virginia,” Parker said. Cock fighting was outlawed in West Virginia in 1923 and is illegal in all 50 states.