West Virginia lottery could add online gaming options

lottery lottoCharleston Daily Mail – To help combat out-of-state competition, the West Virginia Lottery is considering introducing online gaming options, including smartphone applications that would allow players to purchase Powerball and Mega Millions tickets on their phone.

Lottery director John Musgrave told members of the state Lottery Commission Tuesday that officials met with state casino executives and their technical staff last month to discuss potential online gaming options in the state. A second meeting to discuss the matter is set to take place in Charleston in late October.

“We’re still exploring (online gaming) because we feel that’s the way the industry’s moving, so we want to plan for it,” Musgrave said after Tuesday’s meeting. “We have not yet made any decision for how we’re going to implement it, but we are looking at it, studying it and seeing how our casinos in our jurisdiction can move in that direction.”

Last February, New Jersey passed a law allowing casinos to run websites that take bets for games like poker and blackjack. New Jersey expects to bring in an additional $55 million to state tax coffers in the coming fiscal year as a result of the expansion.

Musgrave said the online gambling options could help stave off the continued erosion of lottery revenue from the state’s four racetrack casinos, which are seeing their revenue base cannibalized by new out-of-state operations.

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