West Virginia Governor Last to Decide On iGaming Bill

The state of West Virginia was one of the first states in the US that legalized sports betting after the US Department of Justice decided to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act back in May of 2018…

…and now the country has been continuously pushing forward the plans in the past few months to legalize online gambling as well.

Online Gambling Bill Approval

The bill, named House Bill 2934, was introduced back in February by Delegate, Jason Barrett. It passed the approval by both chambers of West Virginia legislature.

First, it passed the House in February 2019…

…and then was approved by the state Senate on March 8 of this year where 26 votes were in favor of this bill and seven were against.

The bill then got sent back to the House for a last and final approval, because the upper chamber had to make some major changes in the bill. It took place on March 9 when 78 Delegates voted in favor of the bill and 18 were against (while four abstained).

Now, the only thing left is to pass the bill to the Mountain State Governor to officially sign it and turn it into law. Although the Justice can intervene and make the bill become law without the Governor’s approval, just like it happened with sports wagering in West Virginia last year.

The Objectives of the Bill

If this bill becomes law, which is obviously very likely to happen, West Virginia would join other US states like Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania that already regulated iGaming.

The West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act, which is an official name of this bill…

…will give the opportunity to each land-based casino in the state to get a five-year license, if it wishes to offer online poker, slots and table games.

But, it certainly won’t be for free, so each casino would have to pay $250.000 to gain that license. Also, each casino would have to pay taxes at around 15% of total gaming revenue.

So, the land-based casinos in West Virginia, like Hollywood Casino, Mountaineer Racetrack and Casino, Delaware North’s Nitro and Wheeling properties and Justice’s Greenbrier resort, would be allowed to run online-only brands under their licenses.

Sports Betting in West Virginia

It is important to mention that the only site that gained the license to offer sports betting in West Virginia, the Miomni-powered Delaware North-owned BetLucky brand, is currently offline.

Why?

Well, as it was mentioned by the West Virginia Lottery…

…there was a certain dispute between the operator’s sports betting solutions provider Miomni and a third-party vendor.

This provoked kind of a chain reaction, because the licensed land-based venues that offered sports betting, Delaware North’s Mardi Gras Casino & Resort and Wheeling Island are currently not working.

Representatives from the state lottery said that they are investigating the new situation and that they hope it will get resolved as soon as possible.

Source:

“West Virginia igaming bill heads to Governor”, igamingbusiness.com, March 11, 2019.

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