Over the weekend, the state of West Virginia passed a bill involving sports betting into law. The House and Senate passed the bill, yet the Governor of the state, Jim Justice, did not sign the bill into law. Governor Justice decided to let the bill sit on his desk and after five days, the bill became law due to inaction on his part. The Governor had shown support in the past for the bill, so it was surprising to see that he had did nothing involving the measure. Now, Governor Justice has spoken out on the matter, stating lawmakers need to reconsider the law that just passed.
The Bill, SB 451, became law last week with Governor Justice sending out a press release stating that after the United States Supreme Court issues their decision on sports wagering, he will be asking Legislature to look at the advantages of partnering with major sports leagues. He feels that such partnerships will be of real value.
It seems the Governor wants to see sports betting in the state but not as the new law is written. Major League Baseball seems to be a driving force behind the Governor’s decision. According to Legal Sports Report, Major League Baseball seems to think that a special session will take place that will see amendments made to the new law.
In a statement on the matter, the MLB said that they appreciate the willingness of the governor to correct what they call ‘significant flaws’ within the sports betting statue by calling a special session to amend the new law. The MLB stated that they believe under the leadership of the governor, the amended statute will provide better protection to West Virginia citizens as well as the integrity of sports, plus increase state revenues in the long run.
While the Governor seemingly wants changes to the new law and so does the MLB, it does not seem likely that changes will take place. Both chambers voted overwhelmingly in approval of the measure, so the odds are the lawmakers will not be willing to make any changes to the new law as it stands.
Lawmakers do not seem interested in partnering with leagues like the MLB, as the Governor is suggesting. The MLB along with the NBA are sports leagues that want to be paid an integrity fee as a royalty for their spot in the sports betting industry. Lawmakers of WV are not interested in the fee as monitoring the integrity of professional games is something that is already taking place.
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