CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The desk of Gov. Jim Justice is the next stop for the bill that would allow for the increase of Limited Video Lottery machines at some retail locations from five to seven, which could bring in an additional $10 to $12 million in annual LVL revenue.
The Senate passed the bill (HB 3106) Friday with little discussion. The Senate didn’t make any changes to the House bill.
The measure was originated by the House Finance Committee. It would put the permits for the additional terminals up for bid later this year. The permits would expire in 2021.
“We don’t anticipate seeing them increase the number of machines in a low-performing location–this would simply allow the best locations to have seven and also let some of the operators that have about a thousand machines in warehouses right now to put some of the machines in their best locations,” West Virginia Lottery Managing General Counsel Danielle Boyd told the House Finance Committee March 21.
It’s estimated the bidding process could bring in $5 million with an additional $1 million coming from the annual $1,000 terminal permit fee.
The bill would require the state Lottery Commission to advertise and conduct public hearings in the communities where additional permits are issued. The bill would also amend state law to require the lottery commission, in future open bidding, to go through a process of reducing the number of actual locations of video lottery terminals from the current level of approximately 1,336 locations down to 1,250 locations.
“I don’t think it’s significant,” said Senate Finance Committee Chair Mike Hall when referring to the location drop during Friday’s floor session. “There’s been no clamoring by the advocates of this that want this particular piece of legislation that that’s too small a number.”