WV Lottery approves emergency rules for online gambling

West Virginia could be the next state to expand its gambling offerings with the launch of its igaming market.

The West Virginia Lottery Commission has approved emergency rules for online gambling within the state and could launch its online gambling market in the coming months.

The emergency rules were approved by the Commission at a meeting held on 29 April and will now be sent to the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office where the rules must be filed by 15 May.

Once filed, the Secretary of State will have 42 days to approve or reject the proposed rules.

The emergency rules

According to the draft rules for online gambling, each land-based casino in the state can offer up to three online gambling skins under a license. Operators hoping to serve the state will be required to pay a license fee of $100,000.

Suppliers that provide technology, content or the systems required to operate online gambling services would be required to pay a $10,000 licensing fee.

The West Virginia Lottery Commission would be able to grant an interim license that allows companies to as operators or suppliers for up to 270 days. During this time frame, the Commission would carry out a full review of each application it receives.

Under the emergency rules, online gambling operators could be up and running in West Virginia in the coming months. However, the rules must be approved by the West Virginia legislature to come into effect permanently. This is likely to happen during the 2021 legislative session.

Under HB 2934, the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act, which was passed into law in March 2019 outlines a 15% tax on gross revenue for operators. The Commission may also set out a percentage of revenue that can be used for tax-free promotional credits.

Advertising run by management service providers, affiliates and agents must be approved by the Lottery Commission before published. On top of this, data on problem gamblers and self-exclusions must be presented in a list each week with the actions take being reviewed and documented.

Gambling in West Virginia

Although the state of West Virginia has yet to approve online gambling, the state has still managed to create a diverse gambling market.

Following the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, the state of West Virginia became one of the first states to legalize and then launch sports wagering in the state.

Much like New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Indiana, West Virginia law allows residents and visitors to create their online sports betting accounts remotely from anywhere within the state. This removes the hassle of having to travel to venues in the state to create an online account.

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