Lawmakers from West Virginia expressed their support regarding the sports betting case that is currently waiting in the Supreme Court.
US.- As West Virginia could face revenue problems, legislators from the state have expressed that they support a possible legalisation of sports betting at a federal level in order to boost the economy. The case is currently waiting a resolution by the US Supreme Court.
Delefate Shawn Fluharty, D-Ohio, said that sports betting is a great opportunity to delve into some revenue generation that they desperately need. “It’s a no-brainer, I think, for our state,” he said, as the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported. The official was the main sponsor of the bill that aimed at legalising sports betting in local casinos, but it never reached the House of Delegates. “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.”
The bill proposed by the lawmaker wanted to regulate sports betting, just like the state did with table games and VLTs. It would’ve been easier to implement, as West Virginia had already the framework in place. Fluharty said that the same would happen with sports betting since the four racetrack casinos could turn parts of their gaming floors into sports books.
Last week, the Supreme Court announced that it will consider New Jersey’s two petitions regarding the sports betting case that would overrule the 25 year old PASPA, which will be heard in only one hour before the Court sometime during the 2017 session that starts again in October. The case is now expected to conclude sometime in 2018, as a new wave of legal action will happen in the country.
Sports betting legalisation could bring the state US$40 million to US$70 million in revenue annually. Alan Larrick, Director of the West Virginia Lottery, said: “We are still reviewing the case and will be watching the outcome carefully. It has the potential to create new opportunities for West Virginia.” The illegal sports betting market rises to US$400 billion, and the official said that “It’s already taking place, we’re just not making any money off it.”