WEST VIRGINIA (WOWK) – The video slot you play may come up a winner, but the West Virginia Lottery is currently losing when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The West Virginia Lottery estimates a revenue loss from the closure of casinos and video slots of approximately $36 to $38 million per month based on past performance, said Randy Burnside, assistant director of the West Virginia Lottery.
“The Lottery has already made the transfers for all bond obligations for fiscal year 2020,” Burnside said.
Lottery revenues were also above projections prior to the shutdown.
“We do not expect any significant impact to services funded from Lottery revenues through the month of April,” Burnside said.
However, the closure of West Virginia’s two casinos due to the virus could have a serious negative economic impact on education and senior services funding depending on the length of the current emergency.
Mountaineer Casino and Resort in Chester, Wheeling Island Hotel and Casino, Mardis Gras In Cross Lane’s and the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town all closed after Governor Jim Justice’s March “stay at home” order went into effect as well as implementation of the limit on social gatherings of five people or less.
Currently processing times for winning lottery tickets is taking longer as the organization is only accepting winning tickets by mail. If your winning ticket expires during the state of emergency, Burnside said, players have 180 days from a draw date or the end of the game to claim a prize.
“However, if someone has a winning ticket that expires during the Governor’s declared state of emergency,” Burnside said, “The Lottery will validate and pay the prize as long as the ticket is submitted by mail or in person at headquarters no later than 30 days after West Virginia’s state of emergency order has been lifted. A 30-day extension from the time the state of emergency is lifted will also be given to expired video lottery tickets.”