West Virginia's Interactive Gambling Bill Becomes Law - News : News
  • 3 minutes read
Published on
Update on

On Wednesday, March 27, West Virginia’s interactive gaming legislation officially became law after Jim Justice, the state’s billionaire Republican governor failed to take any action on the measure. The bill was pushed to governor’s desk on March 9 and he was given 15 days (excluding Sundays) to either pass the bill into law or veto but he instead opted to take no action and therefore according to state laws, the measure automatically became law.

As it turns out, the governor did something similar with a sports betting bill that was forward to his desk in 2018. However, after taking a deeper look, it might be argued that the decision not to act in both cases might have been a strategic move. It is widely known that the billionaire governor’s family has ties to a casino property which means that the vetoing the bill would be like shooting himself on the leg and signing it into law would have the appearance of impropriety. Letting things play out the way they did was, therefore, the very best option.

A Handful of Licenses to Go Around

The state’s five licensed land-based casino operators will now be able to apply for the interactive gaming licenses which will be going for $250,000 apiece. These licenses will be renewed every five years for $100,000 and the casinos would still be subject to a 15 percent tax rate that is quite reasonable especially when compared to some monstrous tax rates that are part of gaming laws in some casinos. Platform and service providers that will be interested in offering their services in the state will also need to acquire licenses which will be going for $100,000 apiece. These licenses will be awarded by the West Virginia Lottery which has been given until mid-2020 to finalize on the online gaming laws

Shared Liquidity

West Virginia joins Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania to become the fifth state to legalize interactive gaming. Until three months ago, there was the possibility of all these states merging their online poker pools but thanks to the reinterpretation of the 1961 Wire Act by the United States Department of Justice, the possibilities of this grows thinner by the day – it is already bad as it is. West Virginia would have greatly benefited from this arrangement since it does not have populations that are as huge as New Jersey’s and Pennsylvania’s.

While a number of lawsuits have been filed against the Department of Justice, it seems like there is very little chance the things will change. In fact, the DOJ is readying for a fight and is not showing any signs of considering the reversal of the opinion.

Editor's Picks

Online Gambling Finally Takes Off in Pennsylvania

Following several months of rigorous product testing by the Pennsylvanian Gaming Control Board (PGCB), three of the Keystone State’s licensed casino operators have recently begun offering their online gaming products to the state’s residents. Pennsylvania will now be finally joining the small list of states where online casino-style gaming is fully legalized and regulated. Penn […]

Pa. Casinos Lose Lawsuit Against Online Lottery Games

A while back, a coalition of seven casinos in Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction to stop the Pennsylvania Lottery from offerings online casino-style games. Last Friday, the casinos were dealt a huge blow when a Commonwealth Court chose to side with the lottery. The Pennsylvania Lottery officially launched its online lottery product in […]

PGCB To Hold Casino License Auction in September

On Wednesday, July 10, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) voted in favor of a plan to recommence the Category 4 satellite casino auction process. As such, the state will try again to award gaming licenses for five more satellite casinos as part of the ongoing aggressive gambling expansion that kicked off in October 2017. […]

Similar Stories in Gambling

Legal Sports Betting Finally Comes to Illinois

Last Friday, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a bill that effectively made the state the fifth one to officially legalize sports betting in the country following the May 2018 Supreme Court ruling that abolished PASPA and legalized sports betting. The bill that was signed into law included a wide-ranging $45 billion capital funding package. Work […]

GAN, FanDuel Expand Pennsylvania Online Gaming Partnership

Renowned online gambling software developer and solutions provider GAN last week announced that it would be making substantial additions to the services that it currently provides to FanDuel Group which is owned by Flutter Entertainment, the behemoth gambling operator that was previously known as Paddy Power Betfair. The expansion will be going down in the […]

SugarHouse Casino to Rebrand in the Fall

Philadelphia’s Sugar House Casino is soon set to rebrand as part of a series of upgrades that Rush Street Gaming, the property’s owner, has planned. This fall, the gaming and entertainment complex will officially change its name to Rivers Casino Philadelphia. As it turns out, these changes have been part of the company’s plans for […]

PGCB Approves the Sale of Sands Bethlehem to Wind Creek

Over a year after the deal was announced, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has finally approved the sale of the $1.3 Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem to an affiliate of an Indian Tribe. The transaction which was announced on Wednesday, May 29 by Wind Creek Hospitality which is affiliated to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians […]