High School Football

WV Lottery chief keeping close on sports betting discussion

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — If you are looking to place a bet on your favorite team, you may soon not have to travel all the way to Nevada to make it happen.

Last month the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear two cases out of New Jersey, those cases both seek to have the nationwide ban on sports betting (with the exemption of Nevada) overturned.

West Virginia Lottery Director Allan Larrick said it is a situation lottery officials are keeping a close eye on.

“We are definitely researching that issue,” Larrick said. “If it would be approved, and the state legislature goes forward and approves it, we’d be ready to go as quickly as possible. We would like to be prepared if in fact that happens.”

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has tried and failed twice to introduce sports betting legislation, which is opposed by organizations such as the NCAA, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and virtually every other major sports organization in the country.

“It’s really out of our hands,” Larrick said. “We are very dependent on what happens (in the Supreme Court), but we do want to be educated and be ready to go if in fact that happens.”

Larrick said he sees the potential for legalized betting to lead to a great amount of revenue for the state.

If the federal ban is overturned by the Supreme Court, sports betting could then be legalized by all 50 states in racetracks and casinos, if approved by each individual state’s legislature.

The next term for the U.S. Supreme Court to hear cases is October, so a hearing on the issue is expected to come sometime around then.

Troy Alexander contributed to this story. 

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