CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia Lottery revenues continued to slide in August -- but not as badly as officials had expected.
Lottery Director John Musgrave said officials had expected revenues to drop sharply on the assumption that competition from seven large casinos in Ohio would be drawing customers away from West Virginia's racetrack casinos.
"In Ohio, they just haven't moved as fast to get their operations up and running as we thought," said Musgrave.
However, one of the most serious threats to West Virginia's gaming facilities, Hollywood Casino, in Columbus, is set to open Oct. 8.
Musgrave also noted that Maryland residents will vote Nov. 6 on a referendum to expand video slots operations into full-scale casinos by legalizing table games.
Total Lottery revenues in August totaled $116.3 million, down $2.6 million from August 2011, but better than the month's forecast of $97.4 million.
Lottery officials had projected that competition from the new casinos would take a $20 million bite out of Lottery revenues. Instead, revenues from the four racetrack casinos dropped only about $3.6 million from August 2011.
Hollywood Casino, in Charles Town, continued to provide the lion's share of state casino revenues, thanks to a location unaffected by competition from Ohio and only minimally impacted by video slots in neighboring Maryland.
Charles Town produced $13.3 million in table games revenue for the month -- more than three times the $4.2 million of revenue from the three other racetracks and The Greenbrier casino combined.