Robert Manfred calls West Virginia sports betting bill fundamentally flawed

Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert Manfred has called the league ‘realistic’ and has said that it doesn’t oppose sports betting legislation in West Virginia which was passed by the House of Delegates on Friday.

The House approved the Senate Bill 415 with 77 voting in its favor, while as 22 opposing it. All the Northern Panhandle delegates voted ‘yes.’  Now, the bill would move for the Governor Jim Justice’s signature before becoming law.

Manfred has said that MLB presently has lobbyists in Charleston who would try and convince Justice to veto the measure.

The bill states that it would only allow sports betting at the state’s four racetracks namely, Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack, Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort, the Mardi Gras Casino and Resort near Charleston, the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in Ranson and the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, owned by Justice.

“We understand there are a lot of parties interested in the sports gaming bill in West Virginia, most importantly the citizens of West Virginia,” Manfred asserted.

He has called the sports betting bill to be fundamentally flawed. There are no protections to keep players from betting on their games in the state. Moreover, he said that the ruled do not provide any alternative for the people if they turn into gambling addicts.

According to the predictions of The Eilers and Krejcik, gaming research firm, sports betting in West Virginia would fetch $13.4 million revenue in the first year, $21.7 million second year, $29.7 million in the third year, $29 million the fourth year and it is expected to generate revenues worth $28.7 million in five years.

“We had initially asked for one percent, but we are ready to settle for less now,” he said. He also added that the nation monetary provisions are significant.

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