New Online Gambling Bill Introduced in West Virginia
A new bill that could see the introduction of a legal and regulated online gambling bill in West Virginia saw the light of day earlier this week. HB 3067, sponsored by Delegate Shawn Fluharty and four others, will place the regulation of internet gambling under the authority of the West Virginia Lottery Commission.
Directors of the lottery have been examining the idea for three years now, but this is the first time that a bill has been introduced.
What we know about HB 3067
- A tax rate of 14% of gross gaming revenue.
- Operators will pay a licensing fee of $50,000.
- Only gaming facilities and race tracks currently licensed by the West Virginia authorities will be allowed to apply for operating licenses.
- Operators will be responsible for ensuring that gamblers are at least 21 years of age, located within West Virginia’s borders and that fair gaming is taking place.
- Players’ funds and operating funds will be kept in separate accounts.
- Illegal online gambling operators could be punished by law, with operators facing anything from heavy fines to prison.
West Virginia now becomes the seventh state to enter into the process of attempting to legalize online gambling and join Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada as the only three states with regulated industries. Massachusetts, California, New York and Pennsylvania are among the states who have introduced bills this year.