Now West Virginia eyes online gambling legalisation

News on 18 Mar 2017

Legislatively speaking, Delegate Shawn Fluharty is shaking things up on the gambling front in West Virginia; earlier this month he introduced HB 2751 to the state House, a measure that challenges the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) which restricts sports betting to just three US states (see previous report), and on Friday he launched HB 3067, a proposal that intrastate online gambling be legalised.

Fluharty already has four co-sponsors for his new bill, which would see the five current land casino-racino state gambling entities allowed to apply for interactive gaming licenses subject to a $50,000 fee and a 15 percent tax on GGR. The bill has been lodged with the House Judiciary Committee for discussion, where it joins his previous proposal challenging PASPA.

In introducing HB 2751 on March 3, Fluharty said:

“Whereas our State Attorney General is challenging the usurpation of the federal government of state authority to regulate sports pool betting and has articulated in the briefs of the State of West Virginia in Cristie v. NCAA, 16-476, U.S. Supreme Court, that the U.S. Congress has no power to prevent state governments from authorizing sports betting as a form of gaming and therefore, the Legislature finds that it is reasonable and appropriate, for the State of West Virginia to proceed with legalizing sports pool betting pursuant to this article.joined New Jersey in petitioning the US Supreme Court to review the case last fall.”

In effect Fluharty’s bill declares that PASPA was “unlawfully enacted.”

Tweeting on PASPA this week and referencing the huge volumes of illegal bets being placed on March Madness NCAA basketball, Fluharty wrote:

“Imagine the $$$ West Virginia could make on March Madness if we passed my sports betting bill. WV will get $0 from it. Let’s change that.”

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