CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia’s casinos experienced a revenue bump in October after the state’s COVID-19 cases dropped last month, officials said.
Lottery Director John Myers told the Charleston Gazette-Mail the increased business must have been caused by the drop in cases after a record spike in September. The state’s COVID-19 cases surged to an all-time high in September, with a record number 2,320 of new cases on Sept. 17.
“That’s the only thing I can figure,” he said following Thursday’s Lottery Commission meeting. “People are feeling more comfortable going back into casinos.”
Video lottery machines in the state’s four racetrack casinos took in $41.64 million in October. That topped revenue from Limited Video Lottery in bars and clubs statewide for the first time since the start of the pandemic. It also was up 10% from $37.97 million in September, and up 18% from $35.34 million in October 2020.
Casino table games also pulled in more money, grossing $3.02 million — up 8% from September and up 43% from October 2020.
Limited Video Lottery machines in 1,179 bars, clubs around the state took in $41.23 million, up $1.77 million from September, and up $3.93 million from October 2020.
West Virginia has nearly 8,200 Limited Video Lottery machines in operation, about 1,000 more than in October 2020. The number of machines increased after a decision from state officials to cap lottery licenses at 9,000 instead of 8,000.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press.