Musgrave said the Lottery is not in the position to force IGT to continue the protocol through 2021 -- when the current 10-year LVL permits will expire -- since manufacturer's licenses are renewed annually, and IGT could simply choose to opt out of the West Virginia market.
"If they decide at the end of the year they don't want to operate in West Virginia anymore, and they pull out, there's nothing I can do about it," Musgrave said.
Musgrave said he is in the process of putting together a committee to work with LVL operators to try to come up with a workable solution.
While the expense to upgrade or replace machines is significant, Musgrave noted that distributors and retailers will have four years to absorb the costs.
He also pointed out that those distributors and retailers split about $190 million in annual profits from the LVL machines.
"These guys are doing extremely well," he said. "Yet they want us to step in, in a year when we're having [financial] difficulties, and intervene with their supplier."
Carenbauer said the Lottery has an obligation to take steps to assure that a Nevada company is not enriched at the expense of LVL distributors and retailers, who, by law, are required to be West Virginia residents.
"Both our members and the state are at the mercy of IGT, which is not a good position to be in," Carenbauer said.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.