West Virginia could offer sports betting by summer

Credits: sportsbettinginvestment.wordpress.com
Credits: sportsbettinginvestment.wordpress.com

The state could be ready to offer sports betting at its five casinos within 90 days of a favorable ruling from the US Supreme Court.

US.- Alan Larrick, West Virginia Lottery Director, revealed that he’s confident that sports betting could be working at the state’s five casinos within 90 days of a favorable ruling from the US Supreme Court. The state is discussing the possibility in order to be ready in case the federal ban on sports betting gets lifted.

“In a perfect world, we could hopefully be up and running by late summer,” Larrick said after Wednesday’s Lottery Commission meeting. He added that the Lottery is working as if the court has already given the approval for sports betting, and that the five casinos in the state are already on board when it comes to it as a new law came into effect on March 9. Larrick told commissioners that he expects that the court will issue its decision in April.

“We’re really looking forward to working with our partner casinos. I think we’ve really gotten ahead of the curve. We’re out there first.”

The bill signed by Governor Jim Justice would allow sports betting at local licensed casinos, as well as Lottery Commission-approved mobile device apps. The legislation says that 10 per cent of gross receipts will be collected by the state, while it also states that bettors would need to be at least 21 years of age to engage in that activity.

The decision on whether PASPA would be repealed or not will come later this year, but Justice has already asked the Legislature to consider a partnership with major sports leagues, such as the NFL and the NBA. “After the U.S. Supreme Court issues its decision on sports wagering, to address any provisions of the legislation that might be in conflict, I will ask the Legislature to look at the advantages of partnering with the major sports leagues,” Gov. Justice said. “I believe there could be real value to this partnership. I expect the Supreme Court to rule on this issue in the next few months.”

Larrick said that there may be something the leagues can provide in the way of marketing or something of that nature that would be to their benefit. “Any type of tax, integrity fee, whatever you want to call it, we need to make sure it’s something that’s not prohibitive to our casinos and to the state of West Virginia,” he said. “It needs to be a reasonable figure that allows us to go forward.”

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