Video gambling parlors will get to try out new machines under pilot project

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Some Limited Video Lottery locations in West Virginia have had the same slot machines for more than 10 years but that will change soon.

John Myers

State Lottery Director John Myers has announced pilot project that will allow permit holders to test out new machines for up to 90 days before deciding whether they want to buy them.

“What we’re hoping to do here is exchange old machines in the field for new models that the operators and retailers can try in their locations,” Myers said.

It’s going to be a welcomed option, according to West Virginia Amusement & Limited Video Lottery Association Executive Director Michael Haid.

“There’s a bunch of new machines out that are really expensive, some are upwards to $20,000 a piece and this (the 90-day trial) will give us the ability to try these machines out before we pull the trigger on buying them,” Haid said.

Michael Haid

Haid, who has been working with Myers on the specifics of the pilot project, said currently if a permit holder wants a new machine it’s a one-for-one replacement with the old machine.

“In the past they’ll take that machine out and they’ll have to crush (destroy) that machine and I’ll have to try the new machine. The problem is what if my players don’t like that machine? The machine is $15,000,” Haid said.

The 90-trial should help resolve the guessing game on what new machines players like and don’t like.

There are restrictions as part of the pilot project including only one new machine per location, the change has to be a swap out, one for one and if the operator/retailer has less than 30 permits they can only have one machine in trial.

The pilot program begins Oct. 1 and sunsets Dec. 31, 2022.

LVL permits are scheduled for their 10-year rebidding in 2021.

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