Local gaming executive gambles on West Virginia

MTR Gaming Group Inc. says an executive with extensive experience in Mississippi will immediately become general manager of Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort in Chester, West Virginia. MTR said Monday that Joseph Billhimer Jr. will also serve as senior vice president for operations and development, and help oversee the development of Scioto Downs in Columbus, Ohio.

Billhimer spent several years in south Mississippi casinos. He ran Casino Magic in Bay St. Louis, the Grand Casino in Gulfport, and headed up Hard Rock Biloxi when it debuted on the coast. After leaving Hard Rock, Billhimer started the consulting firm Foundation Gaming Group, which managed Harlow's Casino Resort in Greenville, Miss., and marketed its sale to Churchill Downs.

Last week, MTR announced Jack Sours was gone after 15 months at Mountaineer. It was unclear whether he quit or was fired.

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