Lottery director John Musgrave hopes a multi-year decline in Lottery revenues will bottom out next year, but he will still plan for a decline when he submits revenue estimates to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.
Tomblin is preparing for a tight state budget next year. He has asked most state agencies to shave 7.5 percent from their general revenue fund budgets for next fiscal year so more money can be diverted to the state's burgeoning Medicaid program.
Musgrave said Thursday that Tomblin won't be able to count on any extra Lottery revenue to help with state finances next year.
"He's preparing for a tight budget, and we think it's going to be tight as well," Musgrave said.
For the last five years, new casinos in surrounding states have eroded the state's racetrack gaming revenue.
Since July 1, 2012, the state's four racetrack casinos have brought in more than $329 million in slot machine revenue, but that's down about $46 million for the same period the year before.
Overall Lottery revenues dropped from $706 million in July through December of 2011 to $664 million in the same months of 2012.
For years the state benefited from panhandle casinos drawing residents from border states that had few gambling options. But with growing casino markets in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland, that advantage has dwindled.