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West Virginia Advances Casino Expansion Bill

More Retail Gambling Facilities Would Be Allowed

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A piece of legislation moving through the West Virginia Legislature would expand retail casino gambling in the state.

Senate Bill 100 passed the Senate on Tuesday by a 23-10 vote, sending the proposal to the House. The bill would allow racinos in the state to open a second facility in the same county.

The proposal would allow the establishment of a secondary location for “pari-mutual wagering on simulcast races, racetrack video lottery terminals, sport wagering kiosks, and racetrack table games of licensed racetracks at an alternative location within the current county of the licensed racetrack,” the bill states.

Operators have to adhere to some rules. The original venue must remain in operation, offering “amenities, accommodations, options and services at the same level” as before opening the second casino.

The bill is intended to boost gaming revenue in the state. Most recent figures show that West Virginia saw a gaming market of $658 million in 2021.

West Virginia offers commercial casino gaming at four racinos and one land-based casino. Each of the five venues operates electronic gaming devices, table games, and sports betting under the authority of the West Virginia Lottery Commission.

Under West Virginia’s regulatory framework, a racino must have a valid racetrack license in order to operate electronic gaming devices and table games. Racinos are statutorily permitted to have up to 400 machines but may apply to the Lottery Commission for more.

The state has online sports betting and online casinos as well.