February 16, 2024 2 min read

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West Virginia Proposes Problem Gambling Data Sharing Bill

The true challenge would be getting the bill noticed as legislators will also have to consider hundreds of other bills too

Lawmakers in West Virginia have introduced a new responsible gambling bill. Authored by Rep. Roger Hanshaw and Shawn Fluharty, the measure seeks to provide responsible gambling research academics with more data to work with.

Dubbed House Bill 5668, the measure was introduced on Tuesday and would establish a Responsible Gaming and Research Act (RGRA). The RGRA would change how gambling data is handled and would require gambling operators to share data with responsible gaming experts.

The act would apply to both online and retail companies, facilitating the collection of gaming data for academic purposes. Under the new bill, operators will need to provide the West Virginia University (WVU) with data monthly, quarterly or annually. All player data will be anonymous.

West Virginia hopes that the new framework will inspire more states to adopt similar measures amid the rapid expansion of the online gaming and betting industry. Maryland lawmakers, for example, are already discussing a similar measure. Minnesota Alliance on Problem Gambling, on the other hand, recently highlighted the importance of data sharing.

West Virginia Boasts a Flourishing Gambling Industry

House Bill 5668 comes amid an unprecedented boom in West Virginia gambling. The state is notably one of the few visionary states that boast a functioning legal online casino market, despite its fairly small population.

In addition, West Virginia is a part of the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA), which would establish a legal online gambling framework whereby poker players would be able to play against players in other MSIGA member states.

As the gambling industry in The Mountain State grows, so does the need for a robust responsible gambling framework. Gambling addiction continues to be one of the hot topics of the legal US industry as states seek ways to prevent harm while still maintaining flourishing industries.

House Bill 5668 would enable data sharing that would help researchers peer into the causes behind gambling harm, allowing them to propose efficient solutions.

However, considering that the legislative session is already at its midpoint, lawmakers have less than two weeks to decide the future of the measure. The true challenge would be getting the bill noticed as legislators will also have to consider hundreds of other bills too.

Journalist

Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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