West Virginia bill introduced to legalise iGaming

West Virginia lawmaker Shawn Fluharty has introduced a bill to legalise internet gambling.

The bill was introduced on Tuesday and referred to the House Judiciary and Finance committees.

HB3067 aims to amend the Code of West Virginia to legalise interactive gaming and authorise the Lottery Commission to regulate the activity, which will be restricted to the state's existing licensed gaming operators.
The bill states that the legislature considers interactive gaming to constitute the operation of lotteries under the Constitution of West Virginia, and that developments in technology and recent legal decisions have created an opportunity to legalize interactive poker as a means to further enhance and complement the benefits delivered by casino gaming for the benefit of communities.

Licences would be made available to the state's existing gaming facilities, who would be required to operate their internet gaming sites under their own name and brands. The legislation also allows players to compete with other players within the state, as well as those located in another cooperating US jurisdiction where interactive gaming has been authorised.

It also introduces penalties for unauthorised internet gaming, with fines ranging from $75,000 for a first offence up to $300,000 or three-years imprisonment.

Interactive gaming licences would be priced at $50,000, plus a tax of up to 14 per cent of gross gaming revenue, with authorised games defined as any interactive racetrack, video lottery or interactive table game approved by the commission.

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