West Virginia Toying with the idea of Satellite Casinos for its 5 Casino

West Virginia Toying with the idea of Satellite Casinos for its 5 Casino

A new legislative bill, SB100, in West Virginia, is considering an out-of-the-box policy to tether satellite casinos for its five commercial casinos. These would be physical casinos and could operate from malls. The rider on these new satellites is located in the same county.

The Senate Bill 100 (SB100) was proposed by Senator Eric Nelson in January 2022. Despite being accepted by the House of Delegates in 2019, it lost in his chamber earlier.

SB100 Accepted by Senate Finance Committee

There is much cheer currently about SB100 since the Senate Finance Committee finds it a viable offer. But that the endorsement of the satellite casino would require the

“West Virginia Lottery Commission to sign off on the project and issue the business a satellite gaming concession….”

Senator Nelson had introduced the Bill following his visit to the unoccupied Charleston Town Center, once the largest mall in the East of Mississippi. However, the Town Center Mall Hull Property Group was bought for $3 million in 2021.”

The rejection of the Bill back in 2019 does show that it needs to gain support in both the legislative chambers. It will have to hold local ballot referendums to build the satellite properties when it receives backing.

Mini Casino to prevent downslide

Since each of the five casinos is located in separate counties, each mini-casino will be allowed to offer the entire gamut of gaming sports: table games, slot machines, pari-mutuel wagering, and sports betting.

The idea of mini-casinos or satellite casinos was first experimented with in Pennsylvania in 2017. The approach of Pennsylvania was about expanding the state’s gambling reach and hence did not use county referendums to endorse the satellite casinos. Instead, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board auctioned the satellite casino, and “the high bid of the sealed proposals won the right to secure a 15-mile radius to build a satellite gaming facility.” After five auctioning rounds, Pennsylvania has three satellite casinos with two operators using vacant mall anchor stores.

Lessons learned from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board auctions should give West Virginian legislature the needed insight to approve Senator Bill 100.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.