West Virginia Lottery top $100 million in sales for October

in Lottery

Gigantic MegaMillions and Powerball jackpots helped the West Virginia Lottery top $100 million in sales for October, as online ticket sales of $16.76 million were more than three times higher than in October 2017.

In a typical week, the Lottery sells about $400,000 worth of online tickets for jackpot drawings, Dean Patrick, deputy director of finance, told the Lottery Commission Wednesday.

However, in the two-week period when the MegaMillions jackpot reached $1.6 billion, and Powerball hit $750 million, the Lottery sold more than $11 million in online tickets, he said.

Those figures, along with an upturn in revenue from Limited Video Lottery in 1,325 bars, clubs and fraternal organizations around the state, has year-to-date Lottery profits running $21.5 million ahead of projections, he told the commission.

“The projected numbers are what the Lottery has told the Legislature we’ll provide for appropriation,” Patrick said. “Falling short of that number is not an option.”

For the first third of the state budget year, the state’s share of Lottery profits has topped $153.1 million, ahead of projections of $131.6 million.

For October, traditional online and scratch-off ticket sales totaled $26.24 million, nearly double the $13.35 million in sales for October 2017.

Limited Video Lottery grossed $32.22 million for the month, up $2.52 million from October 2017, while video lottery at the state’s four racetrack casinos grossed $39.96 million, down about $983,000 from October 2017.

Revenue from casino table games also was down slightly, at $2.75 million, while the first full month of sports wagering at two of West Virginia’s five casinos brought in $63,020 for the state.

Sports bettors at Hollywood Casino, in Charles Town, wagered $9.36 million on sporting events during the month, and cashed in for $8.73 million in winnings, leaving the casino with a profit of $630,206, 10 percent of which goes to the state as a privilege tax.

At The Greenbrier resort casino, sports bettors wagered a total of $795,899 and took home $832,411 in winnings, leaving the casino with a loss of $36,511 for the month. Since The Greenbrier did not have any revenue from sports wagering for the month, it did not pay any privilege tax to the state.

Lottery Director John Myers noted that, given the casino’s high-stakes clientele, it is not unheard of for The Greenbrier to also report monthly losses on table games.

Overall, gross revenue for October hit $101.64 million, up $14.43 million over October 2017. Year-to-date gross revenue of $381.59 million is up $18.37 million over the same point in the 2017-18 budget year.

Also during Wednesday’s Lottery Commission meeting:

  • Myers said sports betting at the Mountaineer casino, near Chester, launched on Nov. 20, and said Delaware North successfully completed testing of on-site sports wagering at its two West Virginia properties, Mardi Gras casino, in Nitro, and Wheeling Island casino, on Nov. 19.

He said Delaware North has committed to launching its on-site sportsbooks and its sports wagering smartphone app simultaneously, and has not notified the Lottery of a launch date for its casinos.

“That’s their call from here,” he said after the meeting. “When they’re ready to start it up, we’re ready to go.”

None of the other casinos have launched smartphone apps yet, he said.

  • Randy Burnside, Lottery public relations manager, said the Lottery introduced its own smartphone app on Monday. The app has a number of features, including providing jackpot numbers and live displays of Lottery Keno drawings, a digital play slip function that Lottery retailers can scan for online ticket sales, and a GPS function to locate the closest Lottery retailers.

“I think it’s a great step in the right direction,” he told the commission.