A new bill proposing to introduce casino-style gambling is gaining traction in West Virginia.
SB 100 Receives the Approval of the Senate
Senate Bill 100 (SB 100), introduced by Senator Eric Nelson may change the gaming landscape in West Virginia. The new proposal calls greyhound or horse racetracks to be able to open a second location, also referred to as a satellite within the same county. Introduced at the start of the 2022 legislative season, SB 100 quickly gained traction. During a Senate vote on Tuesday, the bill proceeded even further after receiving the approval of 23 legislators. On the other hand, 10 lawmakers voted against the proposal.
“Secondary or satellite locations means a secondary location of a business in any building owned or leased by a licensed racetrack within the county the licensed racetrack is located to conduct pari-mutual wagering on simulcasts, video lottery terminals, sports wagering kiosks, and racetrack table games,”
reads Senate Bill 100
Now, SB 100’s next stop would be the House. But if the proposal receives the approval of the House, it would seek approval from the county commission. Before coming into effect, SB 100 would also need to be approved by the state Lottery. Last but not least, the proposal would seek approval from residents in a referendum.
The Expansion Would Raise Tax Revenue
Currently, the Mountain State offers sports betting, betting on horse racing and dog racing. Moreover, the state offers video lottery machines and it has a state lottery. With that in mind, the current gambling laws restrict casino gambling to racetracks. There are also online casino options available for residents in the state. The new proposal, if approved, will likely change the land-based casino landscape, adding more options for the residents.
As with any US state, West Virginia can capitalize on the casino gambling expansion which if approved, may bring valuable tax revenue for the state. The state currently taxes 10% on sports betting revenue, while a part of the proceeds of the state Lottery go for different causes such as public education and infrastructure.
“I promised to defend Christian values and, as you know, gambling isn’t looked fondly upon many.”
Senator Mark Maynard
While the recent proposal received the support of the majority at the Senate vote, not everyone agreed with it. In a recent interview for WSAZ, Senator Mark Maynard, that voted against the proposal, said that he promised to defend Christian values. Moreover, the Senator outlined that many people disagree with the gambling expansion. Despite being against the proposal, Maynard said that as a market capitalist, he still sees some value in the proposed bill.