CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Questioning representatives from two additional fraternal groups, Lottery Commissioners on Thursday continued an ongoing investigation of questionable fraternal organizations operating limited video lottery locations around the state.
That included testimony from Hershel Carter, operator of the Regular Veterans' Post 119 in Huntington, and from officials with the Mercer County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 80, located in Ellenboro, Ritchie County.
In addition to issues about allowing non-members to play machines at the Huntington club, Lottery officials investigated the Huntington post because the national veteran's organization it is affiliated with has disbanded.
Carter testified the post, which he said has about 50 members, was originally located in Logan County, but he moved it to Huntington to generate more video lottery business.
"I had it for one year in Logan County, and they weren't doing nothing," he said of the LVL machines. "I couldn't pay the light bill."
He said unlike some organizations, he did not have assistance from a LVL machine distributor in selecting or operating the gaming location.
"I never took this post to make a million dollars," Carter testified. "I donate all the money that comes into that post to churches and schools."
Commissioners took no immediate action Thursday.
"This is an ongoing investigation. We are looking at several organizations," said Commission vice chairman Bill Clayton.
Meanwhile, representatives of the Mercer County FOP lodge told commissioners they are exercising an option to be released from the management contract with Action Gaming of Wheeling, and the 10-machine gaming facility operated in their name in Ritchie County will be closed as of today<co Friday>.