June 14, 2013
Lottery revenues down $90 million from May 2012
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- For an 11th straight year, total state Lottery revenues have topped $1 billion -- but the $1.22 billion collected through the end of May is down about $90 million from the same time last year, and well off the record of $1.56 billion set in 2007.

May revenues of $117.9 million were down $9 million, or about 7 percent, from May 2012. However, deputy director Dean Patrick said that amount was about 23 percent above projections.

With the state's racetrack casinos hard hit by competition from Maryland, Ohio and Pennsylvania, revenue from video slots and table games at the four facilities fell to $62.4 million in May, compared to $72.7 million in May 2012.

Still, Patrick said May revenue at the casinos exceeded projections by more than 28 percent.

During Friday's Lottery Commission meeting, commissioners heard a presentation from Osi Imomoh, president and general manager of the hardest-hit casino, Wheeling Island.

Earlier this week, Imomoh announced the casino will renew its $2.5 million table games license for another year, but is seeking permission from the commission to operate electronic versions of the games to reduce labor costs.

Imomoh explained some of the proposed games Friday, including a roulette game with electronic wagering and a mechanically operated wheel, eliminating the need for a dealer.

As proposed, the electronic roulette game would accommodate eight players, but could be expanded to any number, since each player sits at an individual console featuring a video display of the roulette wheel.

Commissioners could not approve any of the electronic table games Friday because games must first be tested and certified by an independent lab.

Also Friday, Lottery marketing director Nikki Orcutt said the Lottery trailer will be at the state's 150th birthday celebration at the state Capitol next Saturday. The booth will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. but will stop sales of Lottery tickets at 8 p.m., when the evening's concerts begin.

Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.

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