A huge benefit in legalizing online gaming is the money it raises in taxes. West Virginia is one of six states to operate online casinos and sports betting.
The amount of West Virginia online casinos have increased dramatically since legalization. The range of online platforms help generate money to go to important causes within the Mountain State.
Shawn Fluharty, Minority Whip in the West Virginia House of Delegates, told PlayWV that online casino revenue has been a huge boost for the state, which has impacted worthy causes involving education, senior citizens and state parks.
FY 2022/2023 brought the highest amount of revenue and taxes to the state, and Fluharty doesn’t see it slowing down.
Where does West Virginia gaming tax revenue go?
Students in West Virginia have benefited the most from legal gaming in the Mountain State. Since 1986, more than $3.7 billion has gone into education. The school system has improved from many new construction projects and renovations.
West Virginia also rewards high school seniors for attending college within the state. The Promise Scholarship allows future college students to attend in-state institutions at a discounted price. So far, $847 million has been raised for 67,390 students who have benefited from the scholarship.
“Things are becoming more expensive as time goes on,” Fluharty told PlayWV. “To continue to operate and keep operating at a high level, having iGaming has been a really nice shot in the arm. iGaming is important because it helps sustain these programs like The Promise Scholarship.”
Gaming taxes also help senior citizens in the Mountain State. Starting in 1986, the West Virginia Lottery has generated more than $1.5 billion in proceeds for nutritional, health and long-term care needs for seniors.
The Division of Tourism, Division of Natural Resources and the State Park Improvement Fund are also key functions that help the state operate. So far, more than $1.3 billion in lottery proceeds have been invested in tourism-related areas.
The addition of online casinos can help these figures jump much higher, much quicker.
WV online casino revenue and tax growth
The West Virginia online casino industry has grown tremendously over the past three years.
After the FY 2022/2023 wrapped up in June, here’s how the state has increased in revenue and taxes:
- 2020/2021: $33.8 million / $5.1 million
- 2021/2022: $86.2 million / $12.9 million
- 2022/2023: $139 million / $20.8 million
Fluharty credits the content developed from online casino operators as reasons West Virginians keep coming back. He said:
“You’re not going to find an industry where operators are on the cutting edge as much as the iGaming industry. The numbers are what they are. More people are playing and we’re bringing in more money because the games are bringing them back.”
West Virginia has nine online casinos and eight sportsbooks that are currently live. Fluharty is welcoming the addition of more operators to drive even more competition.
The more revenue that’s generated in West Virginia, the more students, seniors and tourism benefit.