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West Virginia Online Gambling Bill on Hold

The West Virginia online gambling bill is put on hold. Although it was making good progress, it looks like the state authorities will not legalize the activity this year. However, the state is still allowing retail locations to install video lottery terminals.

Lottery director John Myers told gambling industry news that they are reconsidering the legalization of online gambling. Some people think the decision was the result of the new DOJ opinion on the Wire Act.

However, some industry experts believe the state doesn’t want to mess with a lucrative system. At present, estimates for lottery revenues is at least $25 million.

West Virginia Online Gambling Bill

Five state lawmakers wanted to make online gambling legal in 2019. They filed the bill H3067, with Delegate Shawn Fluharty as the main sponsor. Known as the West Virginia Online Gambling Bill, it will allow state casinos to offer online gambling.

 

The West Virginia Lottery Commission will supervise all online gambling activities. In addition, the bill sets the minimum age at 21. Moreover, the bill wants authorities to negotiate gambling contracts with other states.

According to bookie pay per head reviews, the licensing fee in West Virginia will be $50,000. The amount is way cheaper than the $10 million Pennsylvania is charging online gambling sites.

The Department of Justice recently changed its opinion about online gambling. In 2011, the DOJ said the Wire Act only applies to online sports betting. However, the DOJ released a new opinion stating that the Wire Act applies to all types of online gambling.

After releasing its new opinion, the DOJ gave states a 90-day grace-period to follow it. At present, the new opinion caused some confusion among online gambling stakeholders. On the other hand, the DOJ didn’t provide clear guidelines on what types of online gambling will be affected.

If the DOJ calls for a ban, it will affect all online gambling operations in the US. However, stakeholders might try to stop that from happening through legal actions.

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