CHARLESTON, WV (WCHS, BY: JARROD CLAY)- West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said Friday a bill that would allow sports wagering in West Virginia will become law.
Senate Bill 451 would allow sports wagering at the state’s five casinos.
“After the U.S. Supreme Court issues its decision on sports wagering, to address any provisions of the legislation that might be in conflict, I will ask the Legislature to look at the advantages of partnering with the major sports leagues,” Justice said in a release. “I believe there could be real value to this partnership. I expect the Supreme Court to rule on this issue in the next few months.”
It would allow sports betting at West Virginia licensed casinos and on Lottery Commission-approved mobile device applications.
The state would collect 10 percent of gross receipts. Bettors would have to be at least 21.
Later this year, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide New Jersey’s challenge to a law banning sports betting in all but four states.
Supporters say it will create jobs and tax revenues and bring sports betting into the open.
Critics say it will increase gambling and addictions and could compromise the integrity of sporting events.
The bill received criticism from the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball and on Friday, the NBA released the following statement: “We appreciate the governor’s commitment to call a special session to add necessary and critical safeguards to the law. We will work with all relevant parties on amendments that will protect consumers and the integrity of sports.”