West Virginia Satellite Casinos Bill: What You Need to Know

West Virginia lawmakers are making a third try to approve SB 62, which would let racetrack casinos launch satellite WV casinos. The Senate voted on the measure, and SB 62 won with a vote of 25-8.

The Basics of SB 62

The following racetracks are currently operating and are mentioned in the bill:

  • Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort.
  • Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Racetrack.
  • Mardi Gras Casino and Resort.
  • Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.

Basically, as long as they stay inside the boundaries of the host county, this measure will let these racetracks put up a mini-casino on their grounds.

Charleston, West Virginia currently does not have any casinos within its city premises. The nearest casino, Mardi Gras Casino and Resort, is located approximately 12.8 miles away and takes about 16 minutes to drive to.

More About Satellite Casinos

Like a mini-casino, a satellite casino offers various gaming options. A casino is typically pictured as a structure with a large number of slot machines and table games to be found inside.

The size is the main distinction between a satellite establishment and a conventional casino. The latter will also feature a smaller total property and fewer table games and slot machines.

Mini-casinos will have between 20 and 30 table games and 300 and 700 slot machines. On a larger scale, most casinos often include 30 to 100 table games in addition to 1,500 to 3,000 slot machines.

These mini-casinos also tend to include a lot more video lottery terminals (VLTs), which are increasingly common across the country.

Potential Locations for a New Charleston Casino

Could Charleston Town Center Mall, which is suffering, take a chance on gambling? It’s just one proposal after the state senate passed a law legalizing gaming.

The former Macy’s in the mall has been touted as a potential destination for a new casino. People, however, claim that it is a bad idea.

According to Deborah Dye, it will increase the mall’s financial worth, but on a larger scale, it will result in a moral deterioration for many families and individuals.

SB 62 Implementation

The law still has a long way to go, even though it successfully passed the Senate. Furthermore, satellite casinos would not necessarily be created if the measure were to become law.

Nelson introduced legislation of a similar nature in 2019 and 2022, however, both bills were denied by House members.

Nelson is optimistic that things could change in spite of this. The West Virginia legislative session ends on March 11, so time is running out.

Advantages of West Virginia’s Microcasinos

Mini-casinos would undoubtedly be advantageous to the state in terms of tax income flowing to public education and community benefits. As was already proved by other states like Nevada, New Jersey, Michigan, etc., a thriving legalized gambling industry can bring a lot of good to a state, and these satellite casinos, while may be smaller in scope, will most likely generate some much-needed tax revenue for West Virginia.

Should clearance for satellite casinos be granted, the businesses will also be able to install VLTs and other legal gambling items, which would boost earnings.

The plan will aid in job creation in economically disadvantaged countries in addition to raising money. Nelson asserts that he considers this to be an alternative perspective on the economic growth of the four counties that now have racetracks.