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W.Va. lottery officials reviewing fraternal groups

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia Lottery officials are reviewing records for limited video lottery outlets licensed as fraternal organizations to ensure that they are legitimate fraternal or veterans' groups.

Lottery Director John Musgrave initiated the review in response to complaints from bar and club owners, who have said competitors have affiliated with obscure fraternal groups to operate up to 10 video lottery machines. The maximum for bars and clubs is five.

Musgrave told the Lottery Commission of the review on Thursday, the Charleston Gazette reported Friday.

"The Lottery is continuing to take a look at fraternals and how they operate," Musgrave said. "That will be an ongoing process over the next few weeks and, maybe, the next few months."

This month, Musgrave sent a letter to all 170 limited video lottery locations operating as fraternal groups as part of the review. Among other requests, the letter seeks to ensure they have been granted tax-exempt status as a fraternal group by the Internal Revenue Service.

Musgrave is also seeking letters of good standing from the national and state governing bodies for the fraternal organization; a notarized copy of the local charter; a copy of bylaws; a list of chapter officers, with contact numbers; a list of current dues-paying regular members; and a copy of any management agreements.

While the letter set a Nov. 15 deadline for the organizations to submit the documents, Musgrave said the lottery has granted more time for the groups to compile all the materials.

Inspectors will be dispatched to any sites that fail to comply with the request for documentation, he said.

The Lottery Commission also learned Thursday that revenue continues to lag. In October, gross monthly revenue was $99.54 million, down 6.3 percent, or $5.55 million, from October 2012. Revenue is down 15 percent, or $17.66 million, compared to October 2011.

Year-to-date, the state's share of Lottery profits, $180.21 million, is down $14.2 million, or 7.3 percent, from July-October 2012.

The commission also approved a rule change to allow the four racetrack casinos, and the casino at The Greenbrier, to cash checks for amounts of up to $2,000.

Currently, the maximum amount is $200, but players may cash multiple checks for that amount each day. The rule sets a $2,000 check-cashing maximum per player per day.


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