CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- After watching video lottery revenues from racetracks decline over the past five years, as competing casinos opened in neighboring states, West Virginia Lottery officials have a new concern: a drop in revenues from the usually reliable limited video lottery machines in bars and clubs around the state.
State Lottery Director John Musgrave he hopes the downturn is not part of a trend.
"We know that in the summer and months when there's good weather...a lot of people don't visit these sites as frequently," Musgrave said Thursday.
But he said the economy may be affecting video slots play in the 1,466 bars, clubs and fraternal organizations around the state.
"We have to attribute some of that to the economy," Musgrave said. "People just don't have the money to spend."
For the first two months of the 2013-14 budget year -- from July 1 to Aug. 31 -- limited video lottery has taken in $62.99 million, down $4.37 million, or 6.5 percent, from the same point in 2012.
August limited video lottery revenues of $32.1 million were down $2.28 million, or 6.4 percent, compared to August 2012.
Racetrack video lottery revenues continued their decline in August, falling $4.59 million from August 2012 figures, to $53.9 million -- a drop of nearly 8 percent.
For the first two months of the budget year, racetrack slots collections are down $11.74 million, at $107.6 million.