Lottery Sales Nearly $1.5 Billion; $20.4 Million Ahead Of Projections

The West Virginia Lottery ended Fiscal Year 2009 on June 30, with sales of $1.493 billion, according to Lottery Director John Musgrave.

In a report to the Lottery Commission today in Charleston, Musgrave said lottery revenue was more than $20 million ahead of projections.

“We are still holding steady, despite the continuing economic climate and competition from neighboring racetracks,” Musgrave told lottery commission members today at their monthly meeting in Charleston.

He said the Lottery has completed cash transfers of $522 million earmarked by legislators for programs, including those benefiting veterans, education, senior citizens, parks, tourism, and economic development.

Totals included $84 million from the online games Powerball, Daily3, Daily4, Cash25, and Travel Keno; nearly $114 million from instant scratch tickets; more than $412 million from Limited Video Lottery in bars and taverns; $848 million from video lottery at four West Virginia racetracks; and $34 million from table games at the tracks.

While every racetrack but Wheeling Downs saw decreases in revenue from video lottery, they received a boost from table games during the first full year of operation at three of the four locations.

Decreases experienced by the racetracks were 8.57 percent at Mountaineer, 4.25 percent at Charles Town, and 21.16 percent at Tri-State. Officials at Tri-State have attributed the bulk of their $14 million drop in video lottery revenue to Kanawha County’s smoking ban. An increase of 1.38 percent was reported by Wheeling Downs.

Musgrave noted that Limited Video Lottery sales were steady with last year, while sales from instant scratch tickets were up by $62,000. 

“Traditional” lottery retailers, those who sell instant scratch off games and online games such as Powerball, earned $13.9 million in commissions and bonuses for the year, while the state's four licensed racetracks and other related entities will receive $463.7 million. Limited Video Lottery retailers and operators are expected to earn approximately $202.1 million in commissions.