Lottery Officials Concerned About COVID-19 Impact Even With Casino Revenue Bounceback
With a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases, W.V. Lottery officials are troubled with possible detriment the coronavirus may bring to the state’s five casinos, although revenue is starting to rebound.
The surge in COVID-19 could decrease attendance to West Virginia casinos, resulting in a further decline in revenue.
John Myers, Director of West Virginia Lottery, said that if it becomes necessary to reinstate public health protocols at the casinos, he’s hopeful it would go smoothly, given that casino operators have the experience of having gone through those protocols last year.
However, it is clear that the pandemic has affected casino’s revenue, or shifted their main source of revenue.
For example, the Limited Video Lottery (LVL) brought in a total of $42.09 million for the month when the pandemic hit, down from the previous two months, which surpassed more than $50 million each. Racetrack video lottery is historically the primary revenue source for West Virginia Lottery, but LVL overtook them during the pandemic.
During the Lottery Commission meeting on Aug. 18, 2021, Myers announced that they had added an online Freedom of Information Act request form to its website, following numerous requests from West Virginian lottery players.
Although the number of COVID-19 cases in West Virginia is skyrocketing to all-time highs, Myers maintains a positive stance on casino revenue in the state.
“Based on July numbers, we could see an extra $100 million this year over last year,” said Myers. This is on the condition that the surging number of COVID-19 cases does not cause a significant downturn in the number of West Virginians visiting casinos.