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Posted by Drew Martin
Replies: 0

The legislation is fairly simple at core. It establishes the authority of the state over sports betting.

Regulation and legalization

The bill declares that sports betting games are not unlawful when conduced under the rules prescribed in the legislation, under the authority of the state Lottery Commission. The commission will set up rules and licensing fees pertaining to sports betting.

It also has a unique take on taxing sports wagers that would be taken in the state, with a tax on each wager instead of total revenue:
For each bet received, the gaming facility shall pay two percent tax of the total wager into the special revenue account known as the Sports Betting Special Revenue Fund.

The bill also makes it illegal to take bets on college sporting events and amateur events, including the Olympics.

Dismissing federal law

The bill gets interesting in that it seems to set up a challenge to federal law, a la New Jersey. From the bill.

Whereas our State Attorney General is challenging the usurpation of the federal government of state authority to regulate sports pool betting and has articulated in the briefs of the State of West Virginia in Cristie v. NCAA, 16-476, U.S. Supreme Court, that the U.S. Congress has no power to prevent state governments from authorizing sports betting as a form of gaming and therefore, the Legislature finds that it is reasonable and appropriate, for the State of West Virginia to proceed with legalizing sports pool betting pursuant to this article.

That passage alludes to the amicus brief by WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in the New Jersey sports betting case. That brief arguing that New Jersey should be allowed to legalize sports betting was joined by four other state AGs.

Its not clear, yet, if West Virginia has an appetite for a protracted legal battle like New Jersey has experienced. betting/

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