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West Virginia ignores US DOJ, makes moves to expand online gambling

West Virginia to legalise sports betting

West Virginia to legalise sports betting
West Virginia moved significantly closer to legalising online poker and sports betting last week, refusing to be swayed by the US Department of Justice ‘legal opinion’ that has put a scare through the country’s flourishing gambling industry.

The West Virginia House of Delegates passed H2934, the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wager Act, that will allow five casinos in the state to open online casinos and sports books.

The bill’s next step before becoming law will the Senate Finance Committee. The Senate has 34 members and would need a minimum of 18 votes for approval. Thereafter, it will only need the signature of Republican Governor, Jim Justice.

While Justice has not made any public statements on the subject, he did allow the state to legalise sports betting in 2018 at bricks-and-mortar casinos.

Legalised gambling is one of the only subjects in recent years to receive bipartisan support from both the Democratic and Republican parties. This could be put down to the increase in taxes and Government income and the ability to regulate and provide safeguards for Americans that were gambling with illegal operators and inadvertently funding the black market.

The particulars of this bill are quite consistent with the online betting bills we’ve seen adopted throughout the US so far.

Companies hoping to get a license to offer online gambling will need to pay a $100,000 fee and then pay the state 15 percent of revenue.

There is language in the bill which allows Western Virginian casinos to team up with outside companies like Poker Stars and WilliamHill to provide sports betting and poker service online, as has been the case in other states like New Jersey

West Virginia is one of the nation’s smaller states with a population of just 1.8 million.

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