This year, seven states have introduced online gambling legislation. While some states have been on the radar for several years in regards to trying to pass online gaming legislation, the latest to introduce a measure is not. West Virginia is in the mix to be the next state to offer iGaming but it seems a new bill that has been proposed may not have the support to move forward.
Delegate Shawn Fluharty introduced House Bill 3067 just a short time ago and with the recent legislative sessions ending in about two weeks, it seems the measure does not have enough time to gain ground. The proposal would allow the five gaming venues of the state to begin offering online casino and poker gaming.
Fluharty stated in a recent email that he introduced the legislation in order to see the state evolve their gaming industry. The delegate believes the change is needed in order for the state to compete with neighboring states as they are already expanding gaming offerings. Along with the online gaming bill, the Delegate also introduced a measure that would allow for sports betting in the state.
Fluharty believes that with casino, poker and sports betting, the state would be able to compete at the highest level when it comes to the United States gaming industry. The state is facing a projected $500 million budget deficit so the extra revenues gained from the gaming would most certainly be of benefit.
The online gaming proposal would set a $50,000 licensing fee for operators with a tax rate of 14%. This is very low when considering the fees and tax rates in place for other states looking to enter the industry as well. Some states have fees in the six, seven and eight figure range with tax rates at 25% or higher.
For now, the bill does not seem likely to pass but surprises can happen. We may see the bill move forward and pass into law before the session comes to an end, though analysists predict not.