Regulators from West Virginia and Pennsylvania have met to discuss a regulatory framework for the upcoming online gambling industry in WV.
WV Lottery Representative Meet Pennsylvania Homologues
West Virginia regulators have met with counterparts from Pennsylvania to create a new regulatory framework to help manage online gambling activities. WV State Lottery Director, John Myers, was positive about the meeting, the WV Metro News reported.
On reporting progress, Mr. Myers appeared confident, pointing out the similarities between how the Keystone State and West Virginia had hewed close to the same format of regulating online activities. While West Virginia feels confident about sports betting, the state’s officials felt the need to double-check on iGaming.
As one of the few states to offer all verticals of the gambling experience, Pennsylvania has been the logical choice. Mr. Myers was satisfied with the systems deployed, allowing casino suites to be pasted over sports betting platforms and create a comprehensive experience on the spot.
West Virginia made progress in introducing both online poker and casino games earlier in 2019, with lawmakers asking the state Lottery to come up with the regulatory framework within a 12-month window. Mr. Myers was ebullient about the state’s chances of passing a new framework – it should happen by summer, he said:
“The May to June timeframe, so that will allow us, with the time that we’re allotted to get the permanent rule in place to get beyond the legislative session (in 2021) and file the permanent rule.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Myers is pinning great hopes on online gambling. Even the tax rate is adjusted slightly higher for casinos, with operators facing a 15% levy.
The West Virginia Lottery Wagering Act Introduces Online Casinos
The state is pushing ahead with five online casinos as permitted by the West Virginia Lottery Wagering Act passed in March and signed by Governor Jim Justice. All operators would need to meet specific regulatory requirements as well as financial obligations.
To apply for a five-year license, a casino would need to muster $250,000. A renewal fee worth $100,000 has been assigned. Moreover, casinos will be able to offer both slot machines as well as table games. The Wagering Act will take effect in 2020.
Legally, the Lottery has until July 1, 2020 to introduce the required changes. West Virginia’s sports handle in the meantime has brought the state over $2 million in tax revenue since the activity launched officially in August 2018.
While 20 states have already shaped their sports betting industries, more or less, online gambling has been trailing its feet. WV is the latest states to make headway and push legislation allowing the state to find an alternative source of revenue, as well as add to the scope of gambling activities allowed, thus eliminating the black market.