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Ratings service reduces outlook on SBA bonds

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia's declining gambling revenue could affect the rating of the School Building Authority's excess lottery revenue bonds.

 Standard & Poor's Rating Services downgraded its outlook for the bonds on Tuesday to negative. The ratings service says there's a one-in-three chance that it could lower the bonds' rating from AAA within two years because of declines in gambling revenue.

 The authority uses about $19 million from the West Virginia Lottery's Excess Lottery Fund annually to make payments on the bonds.

 Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's spokeswoman, Amy Shuler Goodwin, said the administration is committed to maintaining the bonds' AAA rating.

 Gambling revenue from West Virginia's four racetrack casinos has been hurt by competition from casinos in neighboring states.


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