WV Delegate Shawn Fluharty Becomes NCLGS President 3 Months Early

Written By Corey Sharp on October 5, 2023 - Last Updated on October 6, 2023
Image representing responsible gambling for a story about WV Delegate Shawn Fluharty becoming president of the NCLGS ahead of schedule

West Virginia is going to be well-represented in the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS). Shawn Fluharty, Minority Whip in the West Virginia House of Delegates, is taking over as president of NCLGS effective Oct. 15.

Fluharty has already had a huge role in the NCLGS’ responsible gambling efforts. He also spearheaded the launch of WV online casinos in the Mountain State.

Indiana Sen. Jon Ford to retire from NCLGS

Jon Ford has served as an Indiana Senator for nine years and has decided to step down with two years left in his term. In turn, he also removed himself as NCLGS president.

Fluharty, expected to take over in January, is now assuming the president role a few months earlier. Fluharty is ready, and said he owes Ford his thanks:

“Legislators, gaming regulators, and gaming operators from around the country owe Senator Ford a debt of gratitude for his leadership to the industry,” Fluharty said in a release. “Jon never discussed party affiliation or played politics. His modus operandi was about how regulated gaming can bring economic opportunities and jobs to not only his district, but the entire country. Jon will be a friend for life. He helped bring the organization to another level and I look forward to continuing that progress as President of NCLGS.”

Ford added:

“It’s been a great honor to serve the people of Indiana for the past decade. Along with education, economic development through regulated gaming has been a passion of mine in the Senate. Gaming policy in Indiana, just like at NCLGS, is a bi-partisan endeavor. You can work across party lines and if you get good results, you’ll be able to provide great jobs and economic development for your constituents.”

Fluharty’s role in West Virginia responsible gambling

Fluharty is a huge advocate for responsible gambling in West Virginia.

Over the summer, Fluharty was instrumental in compiling the 16-point responsible gambling resolution plan focused on four areas:

  • One accredited national problem gambling helpline number within all jurisdictions.
  • State or jurisdictional advertising guidelines to ensure that marketing is targeted only to those who are of legal age to gamble, that marketing follows standards not to offer content, themes and promotions that have special appeal to those consumers most at risk for gambling problems and to ensure there are programs that audit and monitor the content of third-party marketing affiliates.
  • Policies and programs that enable customers to discontinue their play temporarily or permanently through exclusion programs from gaming activities statewide and across multiple jurisdictions with multiple term lengths.
  • Coordination of gambling exclusion lists to prevent people with gambling problems and others on exclusion lists from problematic play in other states.

These responsible gambling resolutions cover a wide range of betting, which Fluharty said the NCLGS helped him grasp. In the press release, he said:

“I found working with NCLGS to be very refreshing because the organization is built around the principles of getting the best and the brightest in the gaming industry into one room to discuss the issues of the day. The organization helped me learn about all aspects of gaming, from horse racing to lotteries and casinos to digital gaming and sports betting.”

Fluharty instrumental in legalizing WV online casinos

West Virginia online casinos launched in July 2020, and Fluharty was a huge reason why. After neighboring state Pennsylvania went live a year prior, Fluharty knew the Mountain State had to get in on the action.

“Pennsylvania going green meant we needed to,” Fluharty told PlayWV in April. “Why would we allow people to jump the border and participate? Having a neighboring state get in the market was certainly influential.”

West Virginia has certainly seen the fruits of its labor. With nine online casino operators, the Mountain State routinely records at least $11 million a month in revenue. Much of the tax revenue goes to worthy causes within the state.

Fluharty has already made his mark in the West Virginia market. Now, he’s looking to make an impact on a national level, representing the Mountain State.

Photo by Shutterstock.com
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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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