“Oh think it’s good news; great news,” said Governor Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia
Governor Justice reacting to news that the U.S. Supreme Court will allow individual states to legalize sports betting, if they wish. In anticipation of that, the West Virginia Legislature approved a law to legalize gambling on sporting events just two months ago.
“I think this is great news for the West Virginia tourism industry. We’re going to be able to move this forward and attract new people to West Virginia that may not have come here before,” said Del. Andrew Robinson, (D) Kanawha.
So far West Virginia is one of only five states, to have passed a sports betting law. The gaming will only be allowed by electronic device, or in person at the five casino in the Mountain State. The most controversial part, is that various major league sports organization will get a one-percent cut of the revenue generated – the so-called, “integrity fee.”
“And the amount of the integrity fee is going to be borne by the casinos and they can afford that,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia.
But not everyone is happy about that. Critics say the state should have negotiated a better deal.
“One of the reasons I voted against this to start with was that I felt like the state was giving up too much of the revenue, that we could take and do ourselves. But to give up more of it I think is a huge mistake,” said State Sen. Ed Gaunch, (R) Kanawha.
Casinos believe they can have sports betting in the Mountain State up and running in about 90 days.
“Even though West Virginia has no major league teams, there will be an effort to get some of this gambling revenue to the sports programs at Marshall and WVU,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.