Early last year, H 3067 was introduced in the state of West Virginia in the hopes of passing online gambling into law. The bill made no headway and has now been reintroduced in 2018. The bill will allow casinos in the state to provide online gambling services if passed into law.
Delegate Shawn Fluharty is the primary sponsor of the bill with four co-sponsors; Mike Bates, Joseph Canestraro, Sean Hornbuckle and Mike Pushkin. According to OnlinePokerReport, the West Virginia Lottery Commission would be in charge of online gambling regulation. The Commission is already in charge of casino gaming in West Virginia.
Regulations for iGaming in the state will include that players must be 21 or older to take part and that players are physically located within the state. The bill also leaves West Virginia open to interstate gambling compacts for online gaming sites, if the Lottery Commission decides to enter in such partnerships. Other states in the US that offer online gaming could partner with WV, including Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
As far as licensing is concerned, online gambling operators will have to pay $50,000. A 14% tax rate has been set on gross gaming revenues. These are good terms and relatively low, which should help the state to see interest by casino operators, if the legislation were to pass.
So now, we have to wait and see if the measure can move forward. Last year, the bill was unable to progress and died quickly with no support from fellow legislators. A big help to the legislation this year could be the fact that Pennsylvania is the latest state to pass iGaming legislation. Pennsylvania is a neighbor to West Virginia and lawmakers may be ready to move forward with online gambling in order to stay competitive in their region.
It will be interesting to see if the bill has the ability to move forward and if West Virginia might possibly be the next state in the US to pass online gambling legislation.
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