The West Virginia Lottery had a great month in November, totaling over $101 million in gross revenue.
Among several factors, the fact that there are more limited video lottery (LVL) machines in rotation throughout the Mountain State is certainly helping produce more income.
An adjustment in the law now allows bars and other establishments to feature a maximum number of 10 LVL machines as opposed to just seven previously.
Alone, the LVL revenue reached nearly $39 million during the month. Despite it falling short of October’s total by around $2.5 million, it was still the 13th best month ever in terms of LVL earnings.
Overall, the year-to-date revenue stands at just over $529 million through November, which marks the fifth month of the current fiscal year. This figure is up around $78 million from the same time a year ago.
WV Lottery director John Myers was satisfied with the outcome. According to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, he said:
“It was a good revenue month. We’re really pleased with how things are going.”
Expanded LVL Helps WV Lottery Revenue
The LVL machines are a consistent source of revenue for the WV Lottery. They proved to be one of the main avenues of income during the pandemic and are continuing that trend today.
In both March and April 2021, LVL machines brought in more than $50 million in earnings. This is the record in the state at the moment.
Part of the reason they’re so successful is that bettors don’t need to go to casinos or the state’s racetracks to play. Myers explained that local bars and clubs that aren’t overcrowded are where a lot of people prefer to do their betting these days.
While the incoming revenue for casino table games and video lottery at racetracks is getting better, it’s still not where it used to be before COVID-19.
LVL gaming is carrying a good portion of the overall total, and that could increase even more going forward.
Not only can every regulated business that has these machines showcase 10 of them now, but also, WV is in the process of putting 1,000 more in the state. Earlier last year, the law was altered to allow 9,000 10-year licenses instead of only 8,000.
Although the additional machines are permitted, only 367 of them are currently online and active.
The state is a little bit behind in getting all the new machines up and running. The computer chip shortage worldwide is causing some of the issues in speeding up this development.
“We’ve been catching up constantly with the installations required with all the new permits issued this year.”
Installing More LVL Machines In WV
Myers noted that there is a total of 8,367 LVL machines functional right now, with plenty of others on the way.
Installation is pending on 108 of them, while another 400 to 500 are pending delivery. Once they’re all operational, the state will be significantly ahead of where it was last year. It had just 7,465 LVL machines at the start of 2021.
The WV Lottery would like to get all this completed as quickly as possible; however, it will take time to finalize everything.
The lottery’s deputy director, David Bradley, broke down all the steps that must happen before a new machine is installed.
Its security division must authorize the machine after floor plans are approved, along with having all of the licenses and permits submitted.
Bradley said, “It’s overwhelming, but it’s a good kind of overwhelming.”
Even though things are slightly crazy at the moment, Bradley said, all of these LVL machines will pay off in the long run.
WV responsible gambling resources
If gambling stops being just for fun, it is time to seek help. West Virginia takes responsible gambling seriously and thus provides many resources for those who are experiencing issues related to problem gambling.
There are several resources available to problem gamblers or their families in West Virginia: