Sports betting in West Virginia casinos could be up and running within three months after the Supreme Court decides to strike down the controversial Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992, according to a state lottery official.
WVNews reported that the West Virginia Lottery Commission is now preparing for the implementation of sports betting in the Mountain State, just in case the high tribunal decides to lift the ban on sports wagering.
Lottery Director Alan Larrick pointed out that it will take a maximum of 90 days before sports betting could be offered inside casinos if the court upholds such wagering as legal.
“Everyone’s getting themselves ready,” Larrick said, according to the news outlet. “We’re thinking there’s a 50 percent chance that next month we may know something.”
Early this month, West Virginia lawmakers approved Senate Bill 415 legalizing sports betting at the state’s casinos.
To recap, SB 415 would give the Lottery Commission the authority to regulate sports betting in the state, including the authorization of online and mobile betting. The legislation required that bettors be older than 20.
The bill would permit the state’s five gaming facilities to offer sports betting, provided they obtain a five-year, sports betting operator license at a cost of up to $100,000 and pay 10 percent tax on their gross betting revenue.
Lawmakers anchored their optimism on the reactions of a majority of the SC magistrates after hearing arguments for and against overturning the federal PASPA, which limits single-game sports betting to the state of Nevada.
Citing the grapevine, Larrick said the SC might rule 6-3 or 5-4 in favor of New Jersey.
If things go well at the court, the state lottery official said West Virginia is looking at a $5 million revenue for the first year, before reaching $28.7 million by the fifth year of sports betting implementation.
“Sports betting is going to be beneficial to the casinos in West Virginia,” he said. “We’re hoping getting those folks in the casinos will not only get people playing sports betting, but also the tables, and they’ll end up staying there (in hotels nearby).”