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Lottery Commission introducing bill to legalize sports betting at WV casinos


Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Anticipating that the U.S. Supreme Court this year will overturn federal law prohibiting most states from legalizing sports betting, the state Lottery Commission will be introducing legislation this session to permit sports betting at state casinos, Lottery counsel Danielle Boyd told the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday.

Boyd said the expectation is the high court will issue an opinion in late spring or early summer overturning the ban, and the commission hopes to have a state sports betting law on the books when that happens.

“We hope to have a plan in West Virginia to take advantage of being first in the market, as we were with [racetrack] video lottery and table games,” she said.

The commission’s bill would join two bills already introduced in the House and Senate to legalize sports betting in the state, including a bill sponsored by Delegate Shawn Fluharty, D-Ohio, who offered a similar bill in the 2017 regular session that was never taken up.

Last summer, when the Supreme Court agreed to hear two New Jersey cases challenging the federal ban on sports betting, Fluharty commented, “If we’re able to get in front of this, we might be able to get out ahead of the other states for a few years. The state desperately needs to generate new revenue.”

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