WV Delegate Shawn Fluharty Organizing Committee For Online Casino Regulation

Written By Corey Sharp on January 9, 2024 - Last Updated on January 11, 2024
Image of WV Delegate and NCLGS President Shawn Fluharty for a story about Fluharty and the NCLGS organizing an online casino regulation committee.

The National Council of Legislators from Gaming States’ (NCLGS) winter meetings concluded last week, and according to reports, no bombshell news came from the gathering. However, a focus on the legalization of online casinos across the country came to the forefront.

NCLGS President and Minority Whip in the West Virginia House of Delegates, Shawn Fluharty, announced the formation of a new committee to help legislators hone in on online casino regulation.

Fluharty’s presence as NCLGS President is huge, considering his large role in legalizing WV online casinos.

Shawn Fluharty creates new committee to discuss regulating online casinos

West Virginia online casinos launched in 2020 and have been growing ever since. Operators generated a record $15.5 million in September revenue, followed by the second-largest total of $14.4 million in November.

West Virginia doesn’t post the sizable numbers of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Michigan, however, online casinos provided a huge boost. The tax money generated from online casinos fund many worthy causes in the Mountain State.

Despite that, only six states have legal online casinos, while 38 provide sports betting. There is clearly a disconnect between legislators and online casinos.

Fluharty was the chair of a panel discussion last week called Closing the iGaming Education Gap, which proves there is something missing with the rollout of online casino apps.

To bridge the gap, Fluharty is creating a committee to not only raise awareness of online casinos, but also implement them across the country quicker and the right way. In the announcement, Fluharty said:

“NCLGS is forming a committee on model legislation, and our first task is implementing and organizing model legislation on iGaming.”

Fluharty mentioned he hopes to provide more of a framework for what the committee looks like during the NCLGS’ summer meetings in July.


How other states can use the West Virginia online casino model

The NCLGS is lucky to have Fluharty at the helm. His experience and knowledge of online casinos speaks for itself.

Now that Fluharty has a much more prominent role nationally, he’ll be able to use his experience to help other states launch online casinos.

Once other states do, they’ll be able to use West Virginia, and other existing markets, as a model. West Virginia online casinos produce tax money for causes such as The Promise Scholarship, senior citizens, Division of Tourism, Division of Natural Resources and the State Park Improvement Fund.

Last month on the Safe Bet Show podcast, Fluharty spoke about the benefits that have come from online casinos:

“In golf, drive for show, putt for dough. When it comes to sports betting and iGaming, sports betting is for show, iGaming is dough. Meaning, the money we thought was coming with sports betting, which is a bit of a falsehood, actually does come with iGaming.”

Fluharty hopes to take what he learned in West Virginia and apply it to the rest of the country.

Photo by NCLGS
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Corey Sharp

Corey Sharp is the Lead Writer at PlayWV bringing you coverage of the WV online casino market in the Mountain State. Corey is a 4-for-4 Philly sports fan and previously worked as a writer and editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC Sports Philadelphia.

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