WV Delegate Shawn Fluharty To Lead Online Casino Panel At NCLGS Meetings

Written By Corey Sharp on December 20, 2023
Photo showing a row of microphones for a story about the NCLGS winter meeting agenda releasing with several panels around online casinos.

The National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) agenda for meetings held in Florida next month has been established. West Virginia is going to be well represented as Shawn Fluharty, Minority Whip in the West Virginia House of Delegates, is running the show as new NCLGS president.

The event starts on Wednesday, Jan. 3, and runs until Saturday, Jan. 6. A wide variety of topics will be covered, including a panel discussing the legalization of iGaming. Fluharty was instrumental in passing WV online casinos, which have proven to be a big revenue generator for the state.

Fluharty to shed light on West Virginia online casinos

While many individuals arrive and check into the NCLGS meetings on Wednesday, the real action starts on Thursday, Jan. 4.

As president, Fluharty did not waste any time putting an important subject matter on the agenda. West Virginia is one of six states that have legal online casinos, while there are 38 states with legal sports betting. On the Safe Bet Show podcast, Fluharty said earlier this month:

“I serve with a lot of people that struggle to silence their cell phones during a committee meeting. And now we’re trying to get them to understand how an iCasino can be on their phone. There’s clearly an education gap when it comes to those who are passing laws in this country.”

Since education has become an issue, Fluharty set up a panel addressing the slow legalization burn of online casinos. On the NCLGS website, the panel discussion is called Closing the iGaming Education Gap. The description of the discussion reads:

“While sports betting expanded quickly in the United States, iGaming has not had the same success. Why is that? As legislatures convene in January across the country, what is being done to close the education gap on iGaming among everyone from legislators to regulators. Many of the iGaming companies are currently operating in foreign countries, but how can they better approach the United States market?”

Fluharty is listed as the chair of the panel, with the following presenters joining him on stage:

  • Daron Dorsey: Executive Director, Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM)
  • Saam Hafezi: Play’n GO Regional Director
  • Charmaine Hogan: Playtech Head of Regulatory Affairs
  • Martin Lycka: Entain SVP for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling


Other key topics to be discussed at NCLGS winter meetings 2024

The NCLGS meetings are going to discuss other topics, too, such as illegal gambling and responsible gambling. The illegal gambling panel is going to attack issues at retail facilities and offshore gambling websites.

The responsible gambling panel will talk about the possible ban of sports betting ads. Here is the description:

“As NCLGS convenes in Florida, the state’s most recognizable company, Disney, enters the gaming market with the ESPN-Penn deal. At the same time, the US Congress is contemplating its first piece of legislation that could ban all sports betting ads. How do legislators and regulators balance the mainstreaming of gambling advertisements? What are the barriers and limitations for these companies? Who is monitoring the explosion of ads and influencers on television and online? How do we define media?”

Other main gambling fields will be addressed, as well. Here is the full schedule for the upcoming NCLGS meetings:

Wednesday, Jan. 3

  • Registration and NCLGS Attendee Kickoff Reception

Thursday, Jan. 4

  • 9:15 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.: The Daily Fantasy Sports Debate
  • 10:40 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.: Illegal Gambling in the Retail and Online Markets
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.: Legislator and Regulator Roundtable
  • 1:45 p.m. – 2:35 p.m.: Betting & Gaming on the Cloud
  • 2:35 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.: Closing the iGaming Education Gap
  • 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Esports and DEI

Friday, Jan. 5

  • 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.: Committee on Responsible Gaming
  • 10:30 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.: Public Policy Positions and the Lottery’s Ever-Changing Customer Base
  • 11:20 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.: The Future of Horse Racing

Saturday, Jan. 6

  • 9:00 a.m. – 9:50 a.m.: Special Committee on AI
  • 10:20 a.m. – 11:10 a.m.: Committee on Indian Gaming
  • 11:10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Committee on Casinos
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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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