West Virginia Lottery Delays Online Gambling
In West Virginia, state Del. Shawn Fluharty sponsored H 3067 which would allow the state’s licensed casinos to offer online gambling, regulated by the West Virginia Lottery. However, Lottery Director John Myers recently told the House Finance Committee the agency would prefer to consider online gambling at a later date. “We certainly see the opportunity in iGaming. We fully intend to come back with that at some point,” Myers said.
Observers said the lottery may be pushing back on online gambling due to its success: State figures indicate lottery revenue beat projections by more than $25 million in 2018.
Fluharty has introduced an online gambling measure in the last three sessions. The bill would require a $50,000 licensing fee and would tax gross revenue at 14 percent.
Myers noted regulators still are working to get sports betting apps operational for the state’s five casinos. He said once that’s completed the lottery can shift its focus back to online and other forms of gambling.
So far, only Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras casinos have launched mobile and online sports betting platforms. Hollywood Casino, Mountaineer and the Greenbrier all have opened sports books but still are dealing with getting their apps approved.