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Time for spending cuts has arrived

Often in the past, legalized gambling has been a relatively bright spot for West Virginia officials worried about state revenue. It seems that even when times are tough, people enjoy wagering.

That may be changing. State Lottery Commission members were told last week that thus far during the fiscal year, gross revenue from gambling is $8.71 million lower than at the same point in 2018.

State government’s take from gambling, $166.92 million for the first four months of fiscal 2020, likewise is down, by $3.62 million.

With the general revenue fund having collected $33 million less than was budgeted through October, and the State Road Fund $68.8 million below projections, news from the Lottery Commission was another blow. Clearly, Gov. Jim Justice needs to order spending cuts now, not later.

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