Gambling At The Greenbrier

Bus companies that bring groups on day trips to the Greenbrier Resort will no longer advertise gambling at the resort’s casino as part of the trip.

West Virginia Lottery Director John Musgrave says the resort was found “absolutely not in compliance” with Lottery regulations that require casino players to be registered for official events at the resort.

The Greenbrier’s attorney Brian Helmick says when the Lottery expressed concern the resort took action.

“We did not know these, these advertisements, existed,” Helmick said after Tuesday’s Lottery Commission meeting. “They were immediately addressed. We’ve asked those third party vendors to immediately pull those ads. Any ads that would go up in respect to an approved event will be done with our approval and obviously in compliance with Lottery Commission rules.

You can only gamble at the Greenbrier if you stay overnight or are registered at an official event there and there are 400 rooms occupied.

Lottery Director Musgrave says the Greenbrier is a good partner and wants to do all it can to make the casino successful but it must follow the regulations.

“They are very aggressive and we feel though as regulators there are areas dealing with the casino that we need to hold them back on—and that’s what this is about,” Musgrave said.

The Greenbrier’s adjusted gross receipts from table games have improved. They nearly doubled from August to Sept. The resort brought in $1.38 million from table games last month.

Lottery Commission member David McCormick says the Greenbrier is obviously pushing the envelope with the current regulations.

“There’s a little smoke there and I think it warrants some attention,” McCormick said.

The commission agreed Tuesday to discuss the issue more at its Nov. 27 meeting. It’s trying to define what an official event at the Greenbrier is.

“It’s a gray area,” McCormick admitted. “We can tell you what’s not an event and that’s really what we did in our first policy statement. If we made a mistake it’s that we weren’t clear enough at that time.”

McCormick says it’s never been the intent of the regulations to allow buses to pull up at the Greenbrier and allow those on the buses to go into the casino.

“They’re in compliance as far as I can see, but we’re going to probe it a little further to make sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to do,” McCormick said.

The Lottery staff on hand daily at the Greenbrier work with the resort’s staff to come up with a list of those who are registered for official events there.

Helmick says the resort looks forward to further discussion with the Lottery Commission.

“We appreciate and welcome the opportunity to continue to clarify what that (an event) is and that in essence makes our day-to-day operations much easier as well in understanding what the guidelines are,” Helmick said.

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