West Virginia State Lottery director John Musgrave said this week the internet is "...the way of the future," and that he hoped to convince state lawmakers on the need to consider the online gambling option: "We need to discuss it," professes Musgrave.
West Virginia Lottery revenues have dropped off in recent years as new border state casinos have drawn customers from the state's panhandle casinos. Once West Virginia led the way in offering new forms of gambling such as racetrack video lottery and table games, but the gambling industry and other states are moving rapidly into online gambling products.
Commenting on New Jersey adjoining Nevada and Delaware in legalising online gambling, Musagrave said: "We're a little bit behind right now. There's really going to be a shift in the way that we do business, and we've got to participate in that."
He claims that lottery officials across the United States believe there are billions of dollars being lost to offshore gambling companies each year. Such offshore companies are operating with little regulation or security, so individual states should ensure themselves secure, regulated options available domestically.
Also this week, news has arrived that Vermont Democratic Party Rep. Clem Bissonnette filed the House Bill 186 proposing the creation of a Vermont Gaming Commission to regulate live gaming in the state, which would include poker halls.
Although the bill is land gaming-focused, it could be a useful vehicle in any future move towards online poker or gambling. However, H186 is currently on the agenda of the House committee for General, Housing and Military Affairs.