Winners Is Hoping to Stall Shutdown of Lottery Machines

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Winners Entertainment Inc., facing a loss of more than $4 million in revenue from a court-ordered shutdown of its video gaming machine enterprise at a West Virginia racetrack, expects to gain a temporary reprieve, the company said Tuesday.

The West Virginia Supreme Court had ordered the Irvine gambling and entertainment company's Mountaineer Park horse racing facility to shut down its 165 so-called video lottery machines by Saturday, said Winners President Michael Dunn.

But Winners attorneys expect to file a legal document today that would hold off the court order until a new hearing is held on the matter or until the state Legislature can consider a new law that would make it legal for the state's four racetracks to operate video gaming machines.

The video machines, which feature poker, slot and keno games, have been used at West Virginia racetracks since 1990, when that state approved lottery games.

The state's Supreme Court ruled last summer that West Virginia's four racetracks needed additional legislation to operate the video gaming machines.

Winners' Mountaineer Park, which operates a racetrack, a nine-hole golf course and tennis courts, as well as 165 video machines, has total annual revenue of $11.7 million, Dunn said. The loss of the video machines would cut the firm's revenue by about 34%, he said.

Winners stock closed at $4.125 a share on the Nasdaq market Tuesday, up 12.5 cents a share.

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