West Virginia Pushes Forward Online Gambling Bill

West Virginia is still pushing forward the country’s online gambling bill, and as it looks like, the Mountain State will soon become the fifth US state to legalize online gambling.

The bill has already passed the state’s legislative channels and found approval on all of those steps. If it gets signed by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, then the bill will officially become law.

Next Level for the Revenue

Since regulated sports betting is legal in WV and has been since September of 2018, the state wants to gain even more revenue by taking online gambling to the next level.

Although the US Department of Justice recently made a revolutionary decision to apply the US Federal Wire Act not only to sports gambling…

…but also to all sorts of online gambling, the state is still optimistic about this bill.

Lawmakers have already approved House Bill (HB) 2934, or differently called the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act. The bill passed with a vote of 72 to 22 and the plan is to authorize online casinos and poker.

It will now have to be considered by the committees in the Senate first and then will be put to a full Senate vote. Since the House was very supportive of this legislation, the same is already expected from the Senate.

The Online Gambling Bill

It is stated in the online wagering bill that the licensed operators would have to pay a tax of 15% on their revenue…

…and $250,000 to get the license.

The fee for the operator licenses is quite reasonable if we compare it to the fees in other US states, where it can reach up to $10 million.

The Wire Act

The new decision coming from the US Department of Justice to completely ban all sorts of online gambling has encountered disapproval from many sides. Some states have already issued lawsuits against DOJ because of this move…

…because they claim that its decision was influenced by land-based casinos.

The US Federal Wire Act is a very old bill that prevented certain types of financial transactions in the states, while nine years ago it was modified and started to apply to sports gambling.

Since January 2019, this ban was applicable to all forms of online gambling. Many were confused by the decision being made just a little bit after the Supreme Court lifted the sports wagering ban that allows all US states to incorporate legal sports betting under their jurisdiction.

“This unexpected opinion from the U.S. Department of Justice not only jeopardizes the future of our casinos and gaming industry but also threatens the jobs of thousands of New Jerseyans. I am pleased to see that Attorney General Grewal is committed to challenging the Justice Department’s unreasonable interpretation of the Wire Act,” New Jersey Governor, Phil Murphy, commented.

Source:

“West Virginia continues to push forward with online gambling”, Erik Gibbs, calvinayre.com, February 26, 2019.

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