West Virginia senators supported the law seeking to develop the state's gaming industry on March 1. This came after the Hollywood Casino entered the Charles Town Races in the state. Its lawmakers are pondering over allowing licensed casinos such as Hollywood to set up satellite gaming locations in the state.
Eric Nelson, the state senator, introduced Senator Bill 100 (SB100) in February. It would permit the five established commercial casinos in the state to broaden their gaming license to a satellite casino.
SB100 would allow each casino to build one small gaming outlet, provided it will be in the full-scale casino's original county.
The West Virginia Senate Finance Committee fully supported SB100 last week. It later moved to the Senate's floor. The state's Legislature's upper chamber gave it bipartisan support as the Senate voted 23-10.
The amazing support from the chamber will make it possible for SB100 to move to the house, and legislatures will discuss it further. Even so, no House Committee has been assigned to review the statute.
Besides having five casinos, the state has legal online gaming comprising table games and interactive slots. It is among the 30 American states with a vibrant sports betting industry.
Nelson's bill will help in increasing associated and gaming tax revenue as it reinvigorates retail-shopping centers. Of late, the Republican has expressed concerns with several retail properties and vacant malls in West Virginia.
More About The Satellite Venues
Pennsylvania's gaming industry has greatly inspired West Virginia to consider expanding its casino industry. It allowed casino operators to build satellite venues in 2017, and it has three operational small casinos so far.
Pennsylvania permits each satellite mini-casino to operate 750 slot machines. Casino owners need to pay an extra $2.5 million for the state to allow them to have 30 table games. Moreover, their satellite venues can accept sports bets if they pay a one-time $10 million fee to the state and their parent casino gets bookie privileges.
West Virginia's casino bill hasn't specified what a satellite venue will comprise. But, if the legislation passes and Governor Jim Justice (R) passes it, the West Virginia State Lottery Commission will have to determine the number of gaming positions that each satellite can provide.
Still, the satellite has to pass several other obstacles under SB100 before the Lottery Commission authorizes them to set up tables and gaming terminals.
Once the SB100 becomes legislation, West Virginia casinos will have to win over their county voters to support a local referendum that will approve another casino location. The state's Lottery will then review its venue's application before it issues the parent casino a satellite casino license.
Casinos Need to Stay Put
One major limitation in Nelson's casino bill is that the state's five casinos must continue operating as they are now. It further states that each licensed casino that intends to build a satellite venue has to run its current facility and maintain its accommodations, amenities, services, and options.
This can include video lottery terminals, sports betting kiosks, and table games that the public can access.