CHARLESTON, W.Va. –Revenues from the West Virginia Lottery finished the fiscal year $77.8 million above estimates partly because gambling competition from Ohio got off to a slow start.
Lottery Director John Musgrave told Lottery Commission members at Thursday’s meeting total sales for 2012-2013 fiscal year finished at $1.33 billion, 16 percent above estimates.
“We had built in decreases because of our competition from Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Some of the competition hasn’t developed yet,” Musgrave said.
Several new casinos opened in Ohio in the last few months of the fiscal year. Others will be up and running in the next few months.
Final numbers show racetrack video lottery continues to be the strongest revenue collector. It brought in $655 million during the past year. The community video lottery machines, Limited Video Lottery, had revenues of just under $400 million.
Musgrave told commission members ending future fiscal years above estimates would be unlikely.
“It will be much less if at all,” he said. “But we’re glad to provide it this year and help the state and the programs we contribute to.”
Other action by the Lottery Commission Thursday included:
–approval of $10 million for casinos to finance updates on their gambling floors.
–amended a Memorandum of Understanding with the state Racing Commission to remove the sharing of day-to-day legal work. The state Attorney General’s Office will remain in control of the Racing Commission’s legal affairs.
–received a report on preparations being made by the Lottery’s marketing department for the upcoming State Fair of West Virginia. Reduced revenue expected because earlier than normal beginning of school year could hurt fair attendance.
Musgrave says he still expects a great week at the State Fair. The Lottery is one of its sponsors.
“Our folks have a lot of fun and the fairgoers have a lot of fun with wheel spins, we’ll have a long line with people to participate,” he said.