West Virginia Lottery Commission Looks at Filing iGaming Emergency Rule

The West Virginia State Lottery Commission is set to submit an emergency rule to the Secretary of State this month in order to govern iGaming within its borders. This emergency rule will act as temporary guidelines until permanent ones are put in place later this year.

The emergency rule spans 39 pages in length, and after the permanent rule takes over later this year, it will then head to the legislature in early 2021 to gain final approval. Proponents are hopeful that iGaming will expand on the current West Virginia sports betting landscape.

So What Do the Rules Look Like?

The idea is that the online casino games would follow much of the same set-up when it comes to regular sports betting regulations and rules. And, while these rules may sound restrictive upon first glance, they’re actually opening up more gaming options for players.

What this new policy would allow is for people to play a large variety of casino games in an online platform.

Picture the accessibility that sports betting offers and simply apply that to online games like poker. The very basis that legal sports betting was designed around is now being applied to iGaming. There’s also the fact that just like sports betting, iGaming will only be available to play while in the state.

The glaring difference between sports wagering and iGaming will be the tax rate. Currently, sports betting has a tax rate of 10% whereas iGaming will have a 15% tax rate according to State Lottery Director John Meyers.

The State Lottery Commission expects a similar revenue generated from iGaming as they experience with sports betting.

Improved Timeframe for Licenses

Another positive change in the Commission’s emergency rules is the shorter timeframe for entities to apply for interim licenses and receiving them.

These sports betting licenses are what’s needed in order to operate legally in the state and they can last for up to 270 days. The idea is that this duration gives the West Virginia State Lottery Commission ample time to vet the sportsbook operator before the interim license expires.

Again, it may seem like a lot of rules, but it’s these rules and regulations that are opening the doors to sports betting in more areas of the state than what may have originally been thought possible.

West Virginia Continues to Make Progress

It was only in March of 2019 that West Virginia became just the third state in the country to legalize online sports betting, online poker sites, and online casinos. It was a huge step forward, and one that other state’s took notice of in order to start crafting their own rules and regulations.

While many saw it as smooth sailing from that point on, unfortunately a number of issues and missteps along the way have delayed the process. The hope is that this delay may finally be coming to a close with these emergency rules.

Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site.

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