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Virginia Lottery reports record profits

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 7:48 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall handed Governor Ralph Northam an oversized check Wednesday, featuring oversized returns.

“$765 million for Virginia’s public schools,” Hall told the governor.

Lottery sales were up more than 50%, from $2.1 billion in Fiscal Year ’20 to $3.3 billion in Fiscal Year ’21.

The popularity of online lottery games was responsible for a large share of the increase, Hall said, and so was the lack of competition when the pandemic shut down other forms of gambling.

“So for a consumer that chooses to engage in gaming we were about the only game in town,” Hall said.

Virginia Lottery Board Chairman Ferhan Hamid praised the results and the work of lottery employees.

“These are incredible numbers,” Hamid said during the meeting. “And to do it in a time when people were working from home and there’s a pandemic, and then coming back to the office is really, is really remarkable.”

While celebrating record lottery revenues the state also took another step toward casino gambling on Wednesday.

The Lottery Board gave tentative approval to permanent casino regulations.

500 pages of regulations now go to the governor for his approval, and more public input will follow.

But the board could be ready to award licenses for casinos in Bristol, Danville, Portsmouth and Norfolk sometime next summer.

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