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Lottery Commission approves licenses for sports betting apps

By PHIL KABLER

Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Lottery commissioners on Wednesday approved state licenses for several companies that provide sports betting mobile app technologies, but Lottery Director John Myers said state casinos probably won’t move forward until the courts resolve a new federal Department of Justice interpretation of the federal Wire Act.

“They’re all approved to have them,” Myers said of casinos offering mobile sports betting apps. “It’s basically a decision for their corporate structures.”

He said the casinos are hesitant to launch sports betting apps while awaiting the outcome of a challenge in U.S. District Court to a DOJ opinion, released in November, that strictly interprets the Wire Act, a 1961 law intended to crack down on organized crime by prohibiting the use of “wire communication” — at the time, telephone or telegraph — for the interstate transmission of bets or wagers.

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