With the documented success of legalized online casinos in New Jeresy and Nevada, many other states in the U.S. have introduced online gambling legislation. West Virginia is now poised to join Pennsylvania in an effort to permit each state’s residents to play poker, blackjack, craps, and other casino games online for real money. Seven states have proposed online gambling legalization in 2017, indicating what could be a powerful trend for the gaming industry.
West Virginia’s Online Gambling Bill
H 3067 was sponsored by West Virginia Delegate Shawn Fluharty. It was co-sponsored by four other members of the West Virginia legislature. Many had predicted that the state would seek to legalize online casinos in 2017 because the state has a long history of showing favor to legalized forms of gambling such as the lottery and horseracing.
The bill would grant the West Virginia Lottery Commission authority to regulate online casinos. This is different from other states like Nevada and New Jersey where online casinos must be operated by a physical casino in the state. Gaming companies who seek to offer gambling in West Virginia would be subject to the oversight of the Lottery Commission and be required to pay a licensing fee in addition to tax on their gross revenues.
Under H 3067, interactive games like slot machines, video poker, blackjack, poker, craps, and roulette would be permitted in online casinos. Players would be required to be 21 years of age or over and live in West Virginia in order to register an account, make deposits, and withdraw winnings.
One of the most interesting facets of the bill is that it calls for an interstate agreement with other states where online gambling is legal. This is a very significant provision. If approved, those with gaming accounts in New Jersey or Nevada would be permitted to create accounts in West Virginia and vice versa.
What Online Casinos Can Do For West Virginia
In New Jersey and Nevada, the first two states to legalize online casinos, millions of dollars in revenue have been added to each state’s coffers. The amount of tax revenue generated by online gambling has grown steadily since the laws were approved.
Pennsylvania, another state currently in the midst of approving online gaming, commissioned a study to assess the potential impact of gambling revenues. Independent researchers found that Pennsylvania could garner over $1 million in tax and licensing revenue within months of the measure’s approval, and that the long-term numbers could even exceed those of New Jersey which has been the most successful example thus far.
Revenues from online gambling are used by states for a variety of purposes. Some of the revenues are allocated to a state’s general fund. Others are used for health and human services, scholarship programs, and pension funds for state employees.
Each operator that is approved to operate an online casino in West Virginia will be required to pay a licensing fee of $50,000. This is very low when compared to the fees of $1 million dollars or more that have been proposed by other states. Operators would also be required to pay a 14% tax rate on their gross revenues. This number is in line with what other states have proposed. New Jersey currently taxes online casinos at a rate of 15%.
What Can West Virginia Blackjack Players Expect?
If you are a blackjack player that lives in West Virginia, this legislation means that you could be allowed to play online blackjack in the near future. You would be allowed to wager and win real money on blackjack games.
One could expect that the online casinos will offer standard blackjack in addition to many popular variations of the game. These might include Spanish 21, Blackjack Switch, or other variations of blackjack that have interesting side bets and jackpots.
It is also possible that West Virginia online casinos could introduce live blackjack dealers. This has been done in New Jersey with a high degree of success. Live blackjack dealers add a more personable feel to the game and also increase player confidence.
The best way to get ready for online blackjack in West Virginia is to keep reading Counting Edge and practicing your skills. You can learn everything you need to know about basic blackjack strategy and card counting right here. You can also learn a variety of card counting methods.
If you happen to live in a country or area which already allows online blackjack, take a moment to check out some of our recommended online casinos. You can register an account and be playing within minutes, and some casinos offer generous bonuses to new players.