West Virginia Eager To Legalize Online Gambling, Proposes New Bill

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West Virginia hopes that its latest push to legalize online gambling would be lucky. Lawmakers of the state once again proposed a bill that seeks to legalize online casinos and poker in the area.

From the looks of things, West Virginia now has better chances of getting what it wants. The third proposal apparently comes hot on the heels of the legalization of sports betting, which has contributed to state revenues since last August, according to CalvinAyre.com

“[L]egalization of video lottery and table games in West Virginia has delivered substantial benefits to the state, including the creation of thousands of significant contributions to racing and agricultural industries,” the bill that was introduced by delegates Shawn Fluharty and Joe Canestraro states. 

House Bill 2178 reportedly seeks to give the state’s Lottery Commission powers to control and regulate interactive gaming licensees. It cites the developments in technology and recent rulings as reasons for the proposed legalization of interactive poker, a move that is said to benefit the community as a whole. 

The proponents of the bill are also hoping that West Virginia could be in the company of New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware, where online gambling is legally accepted. Pennsylvania is also set to launch its online casinos within the year. 

“Authorized interactive gaming, once fully developed, will allow persons in the state to participate in interactive games; not only with other persons in this states, but with persons in other cooperating jurisdictions in the United States where interactive gaming has been authorized,” an excerpt from the bill notes. 

It is important to note that under the new bill, licenses will only be granted to the five existing gambling facilities and casinos that are operating in West Virginia. The state would be allowed to process applications 90 days after the bill is passed by the legislature, as per Gambling Insider

The five casinos operating in West Virginia are the Casino Club at The Greenbrier, the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races; the Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort; the Mardi Gras Casino and Resort, and the Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack.

Each license is expected to cost $50,000. Licensees are then expected to pay 14% of their daily gross revenue weekly. Those who are caught running an online gambling business without a license could be fined at least $75,000 up to $150,000 on the first offense. Repeat violations would be subjected to a fine of $150,000 up to $300,000 or up to one-year imprisonment. 

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