CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Lottery Director John Musgrave said Thursday the layoffs at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in Jefferson County are directly related to gambling competition from Maryland.

“These layoffs of these dealers were directly, I think, from more competition than from the economy,” Musgrave told MetroNews.

The casino confirmed less than 50 workers were being let go. Musgrave said Hollywood Casino was taking a few of its table games tables off line.

“To see Charles Town have to eliminate some tables and layoff some dealers is quite concerning to us,” Musgrave said.

Hollywood Casino makes more on table games than the other four casinos in West Virginia combined. But the operation has taken a hit from Maryland Live! which opened in nearby Anne Arundel County 2 years ago. Hollywood’s revenues have gone down 15 to 17 percent.

Musgrave said there will be more competition soon for Charles Town and the other casinos in West Virginia.

“There’s still a number of facilities in Ohio yet to open and we have 2 major facilities in Maryland that will open in the next couple of years,” he said.

The state budget heavily leans on gambling revenues but those revenues will continue to decline into the future according to Musgrave.

Thus far this fiscal year revenues for table games are down nearly $4 million from last year. Numbers released Thursday by the state Lottery also showed Racetrack Video Lottery down $20 million so far this fiscal year and Limited Video Lottery down $6 million. At the end of Sept. 2012 the Lottery reported overall revenues of $343.5 million after the first 3 months of the budget year, this year that’s down to $315.7 million, a $28 million decrease.

Musgrave also said Thursday the Lottery is optimistic about the recent change in ownership at Mountaineer Racetrack and Casino in Chester. The announcement of the merger between MTR Gaming Group and Eldorado Resorts of Reno, Nevada came last month.

“This provides them (Mountaineer) with new capital. They can do some innovative things we think to refresh the property,” the lottery director said.

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  • WV Worker

    Get ready for more taxes from our wonderful, intelligent elected officials in Charleston. They have based the economy and their budget on casino and lottery sales for years. Now the money is leaving and going out of state. Who do you think is going to make up the difference . THE TAX PAYERS. Like our mothers often told us DON'T PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET. They never think about the future but the present and what they can get. Well its time to pay the Piper.

  • Bobby

    The Greed of Penn National caused this they were not thinking layoffs when they were fighting a losing $42.million dollar battle to keep it out of Md. However now they want to give PG. County in Md. a proposed $100% revenue to get in? Is anyone watching this I say kick them out of WV and get an operator that wants to compete and do business in WV. There out there

  • Jim N Charleston

    Get a Bunny Ranch franchise. Go all in on sin. Just don't raise my taxes.

    WV is in 50th in economic growth. Great plans over the past 40 years cause WV use to matter nationally.

  • CaptainQ

    Take note of this development, those out there who believe that building casinos equals automatic everlasting prosperity. Casinos are not recession proof and are affected by similiar businesses in neighboring states. When any company has to lay off workers, it's never a good sign no matter how much 'positive spin' you try to put on it.

  • Joe

    The only solution is somehow getting our illustrious congressional delegation to push for the expansion of states that are allowed sports betting.

    Also, I would think places like Morgantown that currently do not have a casino would fill a good part of the gap, especially with revenue that would generate during the football weekends.

    My two cents on this.

  • wvu999

    All day every day. $25 minimum table games. Problem number 1

    • coach44


      What do you mean?

      Hollywood Casino in CT has many $10 tables open 24/7!!

      • wvu999

        I have been to the Charles Town casino about 10 times and never have I seen a table less than $25 min.

        • dc8787

          Went to Hollywood casino 2 weeks ago and played at $10 tables (Craps, Blackjack, and Roulette). This was on a Saturday. There were far less $10 tables at night.

  • zero tolerance

    So are the concerns by our politicians going to be about lost jobs or lost revenue?

  • Interesting123

    We are 50 years past the time to diversify the economy and stop being reliant on one or two industries for the majority of the revenue. I guess better late than never....

  • ConservativeRealist

    Time to come up with another way to fund West Virginia other than with gambling...

  • WV Loyal

    Time to loosen the payouts. If your odds of winning are greater in WV than MD, the gamblers will travel.