On January 31st, 2009, a weakening economy has not stopped individuals from spending their cash into West Virginia’s neighborhood slot machine parlors. During the 6 month period starting on July 1st, 2008, as the national economy began to grind into a halt, individuals pumped $752 million into the slot machines at the mini-gaming parlors, according to the state lottery figures.
That is up $15.9 million from the last half of 2007, when the economy was healthy and improving. Fraternal organizations are permitted to possess as many as ten slot machines. Other facilities are limited to five slot machines under the 2001 law that allowed so-called “limited video lottery” gaming. For the fiscal year 2008 as a whole, the amount of cash fed into the slot machines was up $14.6 million over the previous fiscal year.
That improvement came about despite a decrease in the number of slot machines. On June 30th, 2007, there were about 8,159 neighborhood slot machines in operation. That number dropped to 8,053 slot machines as of June 30th, 2008. Meanwhile, video slot machines at the state’s four horse racing tracks took in $950,380 less in the fiscal year 2008(July 1st, 2007 to June 30th, 2008).