Casinos in West Virginia Are Doing Better Than Expected

For two weeks in June, casinos in West Virginia took in more money from gambling than video lottery parlors.

Casinos in West Virginia Get Licenses for Another Year

Casinos in West Virginia are back in the game. They could be stabilizing after the pandemic. On Wednesday, the West Virginia Lottery learned that in two weeks, casinos brought more money than video lottery parlors fortwo weeks of June. It’s been a long time since West Virginia casinos have seen an improvement in revenue.

On Wednesday, during the monthly Lottery Commission meeting, Lottery Director John Myers said that the results make him optimistic. During the meeting, the commission also discussed the casinos’ revenue during 2020. According to the reports, Mountaineer Casino in Chester lost $9.2 million in 2020, while the Mardi Gras Casino and Resort in Nitro reported $2.9 million. The Greenbrier Resort received another 30 days to submit its report, as the person responsible for that work at the casino fell ill.

The casinos in Wheeling in Charles Town had small profits. Hollywood Casino at Charles Town had a profit of $11.1 million, whereas, in 2019, it reported $38 million. Wheeling Island reported a $1.5 million profit in 2020 and almost $7 million in 2019. Nevertheless, the commission agreed to re-license the casinos for another year. The commission also learned that LVL licenses (Limited Video Lottery) brought in $68 million in revenue as opposed to the expected $55 million.

In December 2020, Rush Street Interactive launched its online casino in West Virginia. Then the state reported iGaming handle for November amounting to $72.6 million, or a 36.6% increase compared to the month before, with 53.1 million.

West Virginia Lottery with More Revenue Than Estimated

During this budget year, the revenue expectations were lower than usual. The Lottery brought in more money than predicted – 25 million above the estimated amount in May. For 11 months into the fiscal year, revenues are e $168 million above than estimated. The Lottery revenue is $30 million above estimates this fiscal year.

Myers credited some record-breaking LVL locations and the Lottery traditional games. According to him, iGaming and sports betting also helped boost the revenue. He said that the industry had 20% year-over-year growth in the Lottery for the past three years.

Myers stated, “We found folks want to see a higher jackpot. So we’ve moved from $1 tickets to $5 tickets.” He also credited the lottery staff and stated that he expects the overall revenues from the fiscal year to amount, in total, up to $1.17 billion. He said that he would watch the casinos closely over the year as restrictions loosen up.

1 Comment

  • Jim Morfino
    September 2, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    Hi Eva, congratulations on your insightful reporting in July regarding the respective financial positions of the West Virginia casinos. This is an area of curiosity, and interest, that I share with many others. And as the resources for answers are not readily available, your July 1 report is much appreciated. I have a question: to whom do I report suspected cheating on the part of a casino? I guess it would be the West Virginia Gaming Commission, however I could not find any definitive information on-line. Can you help? Thank you, Jim Morfino

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