West Virginia Legislator Urges Action on Online Gambling to Follow Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania made a big move last week, passing legislation that will regulate online gaming and daily fantasy sports. West Virginia Delegate Shaun Fluharty wants to follow Pennsylvania’s lead, and he is urging his fellow legislators to take action before the end of the session.

Fluharty was following progress in Pennsylvania closely. He was among the first to tweet in support of the action after news broke that both the Pennsylvania House and Senate had approved a bill to legalize online gambling. Fluharty hopes the Pennsylvania’s action will fuel the movement for his bill in West Virginia.

Fluharty is pushing to legalize online poker, sports betting, and DFS in his state. He introduced a bare-bones online gaming bill containing all three parts of his plan in March of this year. He intended to get the ball rolling with hopes it would pass before the end of the year, but it failed to garner much support.

Fluharty’s online gambling bill H.3067 does have a few thing in its favor. First, the bill has key co-sponsors Delegates Mike Pushkin, Joseph Canestraro, Mick Bates and Sean Hornbuckle. Second, it is written to appeal to the state’s established gaming market by limiting licenses to existing gaming facilities and putting the state Lottery Commission in charge of regulations.

Fluharty’s proposed tax rates and licensing fees were modeled after New Jersey – a rate thought to be within a safe range to make the market profitable. However, he faces stiff opposition from Republican House Speaker Tim Armstead.

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