Burnside said the casino market in the Eastern Panhandle and Baltimore-Washington D.C. metro area is far different that the one surrounding the Northern Panhandle.
"We're talking about a very large metropolitan area, and the demographics there are very different there than they are in northern West Virginia, and eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania," he said.
"Washington, D.C. and Baltimore are big enough where they can probably support multiple casinos, but we just don't know."
Lottery officials have said in some instances competition actually has boosted the market. For instance, when new casinos opened in Detroit, existing operations saw a boost in revenue as new players were attracted to the area.
But West Virginia officials are not sure if that will happen in the Eastern Panhandle area.
"Only time will tell on that," Burnside said. "But we are preparing for the worst-case scenario."
Lottery revenue officials have lowered forecasts for table game revenue in coming years to account for out-of-state competition.
Burnside said regardless of what happens, West Virginia officials will keep working to boost the in-state casino industry.
"We'll be ready for it, and we'll do what we can to stay competitive," he said.
Contact writer Jared Hunt at jared.h...@dailymail.com or 304-348-5148.