H. B. 2765
(By Delegates Willis, Campbell, Yeager, Tillis, Smirl and
January 14, 1998
; referred to the
Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend chapter twenty-nine of the code of West Virginia,
one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding
thereto a new article, designated article twenty-five,
relating to authorizing a gaming facility; providing
generally therefor; stating legislative findings that such
a gaming facility is important to the tourism industry and
that the limited authorized games of chance are not
lotteries or gift enterprises; defining certain terms;
declaring gaming and wagering legal when conducted under
terms specified in article; stating that article does not
apply to racing, lottery or activities regulated by article
twenty, chapter forty-seven of this code; establishing
limited gaming oversight division within the department of
tax and revenue and providing generally therefor; providing for the adoption of rules and requiring certain rules;
providing for the coordination and cost of law-enforcement
activities; extending jurisdiction of local law enforcement
in stated circumstances; requiring local approval of a
gaming facility; providing generally for license to operate
a gaming facility; stating qualifications and requirements
for a gaming facility license; itemizing areas for division
to consider in granting license; requiring licensee to
execute surety bond and providing generally therefor;
stating authorization of license and prohibiting transfer,
assignment, sale or pledge as collateral; requiring audits
and inventories; requiring licensee's annual reports and
itemizing various inclusions; requiring license for supplier
of gaming facility and providing generally therefor,
including investigation requirement; requiring license for
gaming device operator and providing generally therefor,
including background information and investigation
requirement; requiring license for gaming facility employees
and providing generally therefor, including background
information and investigation requirement; setting forth
annual license fee for all licenses; providing that all
licensees consent to warrantless searches of person,
personal property and certain premises under control of licensee; setting forth additional license requirements and
prohibitions; describing license and requiring display
thereof; providing for expiration and renewal every five
years; stating renewal fee for all licenses; providing for
license denial revocation and reprimand subsequent to
hearing thereon; creating implied consent of patrons to law
enforcement presence; allowing gaming operators to set
wagers; requiring use of licensed suppliers; imposing tax on
adjusted gross receipts; providing generally for filing and
payment of taxes; creating state gaming fund and
municipalities revenue fund; providing for distribution of
tax; prohibiting defrauding devices as itemized; setting
forth prohibitions and requirements as to conduct of
wagering; itemizing numerous misdemeanor and felony offenses
and stating penalty for offense; authorizing for forfeiture
of certain property; prohibiting participation in gaming by
certain individuals under certain circumstances; and
providing for civil penalties.
Be it enacted by the legislature of West Virginia:
That chapter twenty-nine of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by
adding thereto a new article, designated article twenty-five, to
read as follows:
ARTICLE 25. AUTHORIZED GAMING FACILITY.
§29-25-1. Authorization of limited gaming facility; findings.
(a) Operation of authorized games of chance. --
Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the
operation of those limited games of chance authorized by this
article and the related operation of a gaming facility and
ancillary activities is not unlawful when conducted under the
terms specified in this article.
(b) Legislative findings. -- The Legislature finds and
declares that the tourism industry plays a critical role in the
economy of this state, and that a substantial state interest
exists in protecting that industry; and, further, that the
authorization of the operation of a gaming facility at one
established historic resort hotel in this state as provided in
this article will serve to protect and enhance the tourism
industry, and indirectly other segments of the economy of this
state, by providing a resort hotel amenity which is becoming
increasingly important to many actual and potential resort hotel
The Legislature finds and declares that the operation of the
authorized games of chance permitted by this article does not
constitute the operation of lotteries or gift enterprises within
the purview of section thirty-six, article VI of the constitution of this state.
§29-25-2. Scope of provisions.
This article does not apply to the pari-mutuel system of
wagering under article twenty-three, chapter nineteen of this
code; lottery or racetrack video lottery authorized under
articles twenty-two and twenty-two-a of this chapter; or bingo,
raffles or games of skill or chance authorized under articles
twenty and twenty-one, chapter forty-seven of this code.
As used in this article unless the context otherwise
requires, the following words and phrases have the meanings
(a) "Adjusted gross receipts" mean the gross receipts of a
gaming facility less winnings paid to wagerers.
(b) "Applicant" means any person applying for a license.
(c) "Authorized game of chance" includes baccarat,
twenty-one (blackjack), poker, craps, roulette, wheel of fortune
or any other similar monte carlo style table game expressly
authorized by rule of the division, and expressly excludes slot
machines, electronic terminal simulations of games of chance,
punchboard, faro, keno, numbers ticket, push card, jar ticket,
pull tab or similar games.
(d) "Controlling interest" means:
(1) For a partnership, an interest as a general or limited
(2) For a corporation, an interest of more than fifty
percent of the stock in the corporation; and
(3) For any other entity, an ownership interest of more than
fifty percent in the entity.
(e) "Controlling person" means, with respect to another
person, any person directly or indirectly owning or holding a
controlling interest in another person.
(f) "Division" means the limited gaming oversight division
of the West Virginia department of tax and revenue created and
authorized by this article.
(g) "Gaming devices and supplies" mean gaming tables for all
authorized games of chance, roulette wheels, cards, dice, chips,
tokens, markers or any other device, mechanism or equipment or
related supplies utilized in the operation of an authorized game
(h) "Gaming facility" means a designated area on the
premises of an historic resort hotel in which authorized games of
chance are conducted by a gaming licensee.
(i) "Gaming licensee" means the licensed operator of a
(j) "Gross receipts" mean the total amount of money exchanged for the purchase of chips, tokens, or electronic cards
by patrons of a gaming facility.
(k) "Historic resort hotel" means a resort hotel registered
by the United States department of the interior as a national
historic landmark in its national registry of historic places
having not fewer than five hundred guest rooms under common
ownership and having substantial recreational guest amenities in
addition to the gaming facility.
(l) "License" means a license issued by the division,
(1) A license to operate a gaming facility;
(2) A license to supply gaming devices and supplies to a
gaming facility; or
(3) A license to be employed in connection with the
operation of a gaming facility.
(m) "Licensed gaming facility employee" means any individual
licensed to be employed by a gaming licensee in connection with
the operation of a gaming facility.
(n) "Licensed gaming facility supplier" means a person who
is licensed by the division to engage in the business of
supplying gaming devices and supplies to a gaming facility.
(o) "Licensee" means a gaming licensee, a licensed gaming
facility supplier or a licensed gaming facility employee.
(p) "Person" means any natural person, corporation,
association, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability
company or other entity, regardless of its form, structure or
(q) "State gaming fund" means the special fund in the state
treasury created in section twenty-five of this article to which
deposits and disbursements are made and from which the operating
costs of the division will be disbursed and for other activities
as specified pursuant to this article.
§29-25-4. Establishment of limited gaming oversight division.
There is hereby established within the department of tax and
revenue a separate division to be known as the limited gaming
oversight division which has the powers and duties specified in
this article. Its jurisdiction extends to every person involved
in the operations of a gaming facility in this state.
§29-25-5. Division duties and powers.
(a) Duties. -- In addition to the duties set forth
elsewhere in this article, the division shall:
(1) Establish standards for gaming devices and supplies;
(2) Approve rules for all authorized games of chance
proposed to be operated by a gaming licensee;
(3) Establish standards governing gaming facilities
generally, including the maintenance of financial books and records;
(4) Provide staff to supervise, inspect and monitor the
operation of any gaming facility, including inspection of gaming
devices and supplies used in the operation to assure continuous
compliance with all rules of the division and provisions of this
(5) Establish minimum levels of insurance to be maintained
with respect to a gaming facility;
(6) Investigate applicants to determine eligibility for any
license and, where appropriate, select among competing
(7) Designate appropriate classifications of personnel to be
employed in the operation of a gaming facility and establish
appropriate licensing standards within such classifications;
(8) Issue all licenses;
(9) Charge and collect the taxes and fees authorized,
required or specified in this article and receive, accept and pay
all taxes and fees collected under this article into the state
(10) Maintain a record of all licenses issued;
(11) Keep a public record of all division actions and
(12) File a written annual report to the governor, the president of the Senate and the speaker of the House of Delegates
on or before the thirtieth day of January of each year and such
additional reports as the governor or Legislature may request.
(b) Powers. -- In addition to the powers set forth elsewhere
in this article, the division has the following powers:
(1) Sue to enforce any provision of this article by
(2) Hold hearings, administer oaths and issue subpoenas for
the attendance of a witness to testify and to produce evidence;
(3) Enter a gaming facility at any time and without notice
to ensure that the rules of the division are strictly complied
(4) For cause, bar any person from entering or participating
in any capacity in the operation of a gaming facility; and
(5) Exercise any other powers as may be necessary to
effectuate the provisions of this article.
§29-25-6. Appointment of division director; compensation.
(a) Appointment. -- There is hereby created the position of
director of the division, whose duties include the management and
administration of the division. The division director shall:
(1) Be appointed by the secretary of the West Virginia
department of tax and revenue within sixty days after the
effective date of this article;
(2) Serve at the pleasure of the governor;
(3) Be of good and honest repute and of sound integrity, and
shall undergo a thorough background investigation prior to
appointment, including fingerprinting and check of criminal
(4) Neither directly nor indirectly, including through any
spouse, child or parent, hold any position with or have any
financial interest in any licensee.
(b) Compensation. -- The division director shall be paid a
salary of forty-five thousand dollars as well as reimbursement
for expenses in accordance with the code and state regulations
relating to travel and expenses. All compensation of the
division director shall be paid from the state gaming fund.
§29-25-7. Appointment of division staff; conditions of
With the approval of the secretary of the West Virginia
department of tax and revenue, the division director shall
appoint such professional, clerical, technical and administrative
personnel, who shall be state employees hired in accordance with
article six, chapter twenty-nine of the code, as may be necessary
to carry out the provisions of this article. Prior to his or her
appointment, each staff person shall undergo a thorough
background investigation, including fingerprinting and a check of criminal records. No employee may either directly or indirectly
hold any financial interest in any person licensed under this
The division shall propose legislative rules in accordance
with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code as are
necessary to provide for implementation and enforcement of the
provisions of this article. Any rules proposed by the division
before the first day of September, one thousand nine hundred
ninety-seven, may be by emergency rule.
§29-25-9. Law enforcement.
(a) Generally. -- At the request of the division director,
the law-enforcement officers of the state, any municipality
located near the gaming facility and of the county shall provide
assistance to the division to enforce the provisions of this
(b) Costs. -- The actual cost of services provided by law-
enforcement officers of the state in connection with enforcement
of the provisions of this article shall be paid from the state
gaming fund, which cost shall include all costs of required
training and equipment as well as salary, benefits and other
direct costs of additional required personnel. The payments
shall be made in accordance with established procedures for the transfer of funds to the appropriate fund of the state police.
The costs of services related to a gaming facility provided
by law-enforcement officers of the county in which the gaming
facility is located, which costs shall include all costs of
required training and equipment as well as salary, benefits and
other direct costs of additional personnel, shall be paid from
that portion of the state gaming fund allocated to the county.
§29-25-10. Local option.
(a) No gaming facility may be licensed to operate in a
county unless and until the county commission of the county
holds an election on the question of whether a gaming facility
may be operated within the county. The election shall be
determined by a vote of the resident voters of the county in
which the facility is proposed to be located.
Any local option election to approve or disapprove of the
proposed authorization of a gaming facility within a county shall
be in accordance with the procedures as may be adopted by the
division. The local option election may be held in conjunction
with a primary or general election, or at a special election.
Approval shall be by a majority of the voters casting votes on
the question of approval or disapproval of gaming facility
operations at the election.
If a majority has voted "no", another election on the issue may not be held for a period of one hundred four weeks. If a
majority has voted "yes" another local option election may not
be held for a period of five years. A local option election may
thereafter be held if a written petition of qualified voters
residing within the county equal to at least five percent of the
number of persons who were registered to vote in the next
preceding general election is received by the county commission
of the county in which the gaming facility is to be located. The
petition may be in any number of counterparts. The aforesaid
election shall take place at the next primary or general election
which is scheduled to take place at least ninety days following
receipt by the county commission of the petition required by this
subsection: Provided, That no issue shall be placed on the
ballot until all statutory notice requirements have been met:
Provided, however, That no subsequent disapproval shall take
effect until after the expiration of the five-year licensing
period in effect at the time of the referendum.
(b) No local law or regulation providing any penalty,
disability, restriction, regulation or prohibition for operating
a gaming facility or supplying a gaming facility may be enacted,
and the provisions of this article preempt all regulations,
rules, ordinances and laws of any county or municipality in
(c) Except as specifically provided in this article, no
other fees or taxes may be imposed by a local governing body.
§29-25-11. Licenses required.
(a) A person may not engage in any activity in connection
with a gaming facility in this state for which a license is
required by subsection (b) of this section unless the person has
been licensed by the division in accordance with this article.
(b) Licenses are required for the following purposes:
(1) For any person engaging in the business of operating a
gaming facility in the state;
(2) For any person engaging in the business of supplying a
gaming facility in the state if the business generates in excess
of fifty thousand dollars annually;
(3) For any individual employed by a gaming licensee in
connection with the operation of a gaming facility in the state.
(c) Any license required under this article shall be in
addition to all other licenses or permits otherwise required by
§29-25-12. License to operate a gaming facility.
(a) Single license. -- The division shall issue only one
license to operate a gaming facility in the state.
(b) Applicant qualifications. -- An applicant must be the
owner of an existing historic resort hotel in which the gaming facility is to be located, and the resort hotel must be located
within the jurisdiction of a county approving the operation of a
gaming facility in accordance with section ten of this article.
Each applicant shall meet the qualifications and requirements set
forth in this article and in rules adopted by the division. In
determining whether to grant a license to operate a gaming
facility to an applicant, the division shall consider:
(1) The character, reputation, experience and financial
integrity of the applicant and any controlling person of the
(2) Whether the applicant has adequate capital to construct
and maintain the proposed gaming facility for the duration of a
(3) The extent to which the applicant meets standards
contained in rules adopted by the division relating to public
safety or other standards; and
(4) The plan submitted by the applicant regarding employment
levels and the extent to which the submitted plan demonstrates an
ability on the part of the applicant to convert at least one
hundred twenty part-time jobs into full-time jobs and an ability
to create seventy new jobs at the historic resort hotel all with
a salary and benefit package averaging at least twenty-six
thousand dollars annually.
(c) Conditions attached to license. -- A license to operate
a gaming facility may only be granted to an applicant upon the
express condition that:
(1) The licensee may not enter into any management contract,
understanding or arrangement of any kind which would act to
permit any person other than the licensee to operate a licensed
gaming facility unless the management contract, understanding or
arrangement is in writing and has been approved by the division,
which approval may be conditioned upon successful completion of
a thorough background investigation at the expense of the
(2) The licensee may not in any manner permit a person other
than the licensee to have a share, percentage or proportion of
the net profits generated from the operation of a gaming
(d) License application requirements. -- An applicant for a
license to operate a gaming facility shall:
(1) Submit an application to the division on a form
prescribed by the division, which form shall include:
(A) Information concerning the applicant and of any
controlling person of the applicant sufficient to serve as a
basis for a thorough background check;
(B) Subject to the provisions of subsection (e) of this section with respect to publicly traded corporations, the
identity of all stockholders or other persons having a financial
interest in either the applicant or any controlling person of the
applicant and the identity of each director or executive officer
of the applicant and of any controlling person of the applicant;
(C) The identity of the historic resort hotel at which the
gaming facility is to be located, including identification of the
county in which the historic resort hotel is located; and
(D) Any other information designated by the division as
appropriate to assist it in determining whether a license should
(2) Pay to the division a nonrefundable application fee for
deposit into the state gaming fund in the amount of fifty
(3) Pay to the division an investigative fee for deposit in
the state gaming fund in the amount of twenty thousand dollars.
(e) Publicly traded corporations. -- In the event that an
applicant or any controlling person of an applicant is a publicly
traded corporation, then information otherwise required to be
furnished by an applicant with respect to stockholders, directors
and executive officers of the publicly traded corporation shall
be limited to the information concerning only those executive
officers of the publicly traded corporation whose ongoing and regular responsibilities relate or are expected to relate
directly to the operation or oversight of the gaming facility.
"Publicly traded corporation" as used herein means any
corporation or other legal entity except a natural person which
has one or more classes of securities registered pursuant to
section twelve of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended
(15 U.S.C. §78), or is an issuer subject to section fifteen-d of
(f) Gaming facility qualifications. -- An applicant for a
license to operate a gaming facility must demonstrate that the
gaming facility will: (1) Be accessible to disabled individuals;
(2) not constitute the main entrance to the historic resort
hotel; (3) be licensed in accordance with all other applicable
federal, state and local laws; and (4) meet any other
qualifications specified by rules adopted by the division.
(g) Investigative fee. -- The investigative fee paid by an
applicant at the time of submitting an application shall be
applied to the cost of any investigation relating to the
applicant required under this article.
(1) If the cost of the investigation is greater than twenty
thousand dollars, the investigative agency shall show cause for
the additional cost. The applicant shall be required to pay the
additional costs to the extent approved by the division, but not to exceed a total investigative fee of eighty thousand dollars;
(2) If the cost of the investigation is less than the
aggregate investigative fee paid by an applicant, the division
shall refund the difference.
(h) Surety bond requirement. -- The licensed operator of a
gaming facility shall execute a surety bond to be given to the
state to guarantee the licensee faithfully makes the payments,
keeps books and records, makes reports and conducts gaming in the
licensee's gaming facility in accordance with this article and
pursuant to rules adopted by the division. The surety bond shall
(1) In the amount of five million dollars;
(2) In a form approved by the division; and
(3) With a surety approved by the division.
The bond must remain in effect during the term of the
license, and may not be canceled by a surety on less than thirty
days notice in writing to the division. The total and aggregate
liability of the surety on the bond is limited to the amount
specified in the bond.
(i) Authorization of license. -- A license to operate a
gaming facility authorizes the licensee to engage in the business
of operating a gaming facility while the license is effective.
Without prior authorization by the division, a license to operate a gaming facility is not transferable or assignable and cannot be
sold or pledged as collateral.
(j) Audits. -- A licensed gaming facility operator shall
submit to the division an annual audit, by a certified public
accountant licensed in the state of West Virginia, of the
financial transactions and condition of the licensee's total
operations. The audit shall be in accordance with generally
accepted auditing principles.
(k) Annual license maintenance fee. -- The licensed gaming
facility operator shall pay to the division an annual license
maintenance fee of five thousand dollars.
§29-25-13. Reports by licensee.
(a) A gaming licensee shall file an annual balance sheet and
profit and loss statement pertaining to the licensee's operation
of a gaming facility in this state. A gaming licensee also shall
file an annual statement identifying each controlling person of
the licensee and all stockholders, partners, officers or
directors for the licensee and any controlling person:
Provided, That if a gaming licensee or controlling person is a
publicly traded corporation, then as to the publicly traded
corporation the annual report shall be required to identify only
executive officers whose ongoing regular duties relate directly
to the operation of the gaming facility. A gaming licensee shall file further reports with the division as the division may
require by rule.
(b) A gaming licensee shall maintain daily records showing
(1) The total number of patrons of the gaming facility; and
(2) The gross receipts and the adjusted gross receipts.
§29-25-14. License to supply gaming facility.
(a) Licenses. -- The division shall issue a license to each
applicant for a license to supply a gaming facility who meets the
requirements of this section.
(b) License qualifications. -- To qualify for a license, an
applicant shall meet the requirements of this section. Each
applicant who is an individual and each individual who is a
controlling person of an applicant that is not an individual
shall be of good moral character and reputation, and shall have
the necessary experience and financial ability to successfully
carry out the functions of a gaming facility supplier. The
division may adopt rules establishing additional requirements for
a gaming facility supplier.
(c) Supplier specifications. -- An applicant for a license
to supply gaming devices, equipment and supplies to a gaming
facility shall demonstrate that the gaming devices, equipment
and supplies that the applicant plans to sell or lease to the licensed operator of the gaming facility, conform or will
conform to standards established by rules of the division and
applicable state law.
(d) License application requirements. -- An applicant for a
(1) Submit an application to the division on the form that
the division requires;
(2) Pay to the division a nonrefundable application fee for
deposit into the state gaming fund in the amount of five thousand
(3) Pay to the division an investigative fee for deposit
into the state gaming fund in the amount of ten thousand dollars,
or a lesser amount as the division upon application may
conditionally approve in a particular case.
(e) Investigative fee. -- The investigative fee paid by an
applicant for a license to supply a gaming facility shall be
applied to the cost of any investigation of the applicant
required under this article.
(1) If the costs of the investigation of an applicant are
greater than ten thousand dollars, or a lesser investigative fee
as may have been conditionally approved by the division, the
investigative agency shall show cause for the additional cost.
If the division approves, the applicant shall pay the additional costs as required by the division, but not to exceed a total
investigative fee of fifty thousand dollars.
(2) If the costs of the investigation of an applicant are
less than the aggregate investigative fee paid to the division,
the division shall refund the difference.
(f) Authorization of licensee. -- A license to supply a
gaming facility authorizes the licensee to engage in the business
of selling gaming devices and supplies to a gaming facility while
the license is effective.
(g) Inventory. -- A licensed gaming facility supplier shall
submit a list of all equipment, gaming devices and supplies sold
or delivered to a gaming facility in this state.
(h) Annual license maintenance fee. -- A licensed gaming
facility supplier shall pay to the division an annual license
maintenance fee of five thousand dollars.
§29-25-15. License to be employed by operator of gaming
(a) Licenses. -- The division shall issue a license to each
applicant for a license to be employed in the operation of a
gaming facility who meets the requirements of this section.
(b) License qualifications. -- To qualify for a license to
be employed in a gaming facility, the applicant must be an
individual of good moral character and reputation. The division by rule may specify additional requirements to be met by
applicants based on the specific job classifications in which the
applicant is to be employed.
(c) License application requirements. -- An applicant for a
license to be employed in the operation of a gaming facility
(1) Submit an application to the division on the form that
the division requires, including adequate information to serve as
a basis for a thorough background check;
(2) Pay to the division a nonrefundable application fee for
deposit into the state gaming fund in the amount of three hundred
dollars, which fee may be paid on behalf of the applicant by the
(3) Pay to the division a nonrefundable investigative fee
for deposit into the state gaming division in an amount to be
fixed by the division by rule, which fee may be paid on behalf of
the applicant by the employer.
(d) Authorization of licensee. -- A license to be employed
by a gaming facility authorizes the licensee to be so employed in
the capacity designated by the division with respect to the
license while the license is effective.
(e) Annual license maintenance fee. -- Each licensed
employee shall pay to the division an annual license maintenance fee set by the division, which maintenance fee may vary based on
the capacity designated with respect to the licensee but in no
event to exceed three hundred dollars.
§29-25-16. False statements on applications; other license
requirements and prohibitions.
(a) Any person who knowingly makes a false statement on an
application is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction
thereof, shall be fined not less than one hundred nor more than
five hundred dollars, or confined in the county or regional jail
not less than six months, or both fined and confined.
(b) A license may not be granted if there is substantial
evidence that the applicant for a license:
(1) Has knowingly made a false statement of a material fact
to the division;
(2) Has been suspended from operating a gambling game,
gaming device or gambling operation in another jurisdiction by a
division, board or other governmental authority of that
jurisdiction having responsibility for the regulation of gambling
or gaming activities;
(3) Has been convicted of a felony or other crime involving
moral turpitude or has otherwise demonstrated either by a police
record or other satisfactory evidence a lack of respect for law
(4) Has failed to meet any monetary obligation in connection
with a gaming facility or any other form of gaming; or
(5) In the case of an applicant for a license to operate a
gaming facility or to supply a gaming facility:
(A) Has not demonstrated financial responsibility sufficient
to meet adequately the requirements of the enterprise proposed;
(B) Is not the true owner of the enterprise or is not the
sole owner and has not disclosed the existence or identity of
other persons who have an ownership interest in the enterprise;
(C) Is a corporation and five percent or more of the stock
of the corporation is subject to a contract or option to
purchase at any time during the period for which the license is
issued unless the contract or option was disclosed to and
approved by the division.
(c) In addition to any other grounds specified in this
article, and subject to the hearing provisions of section twenty
of this article, in the case of a license to operate a gaming
facility the division may deny a license to any applicant,
reprimand any licensee, or suspend or revoke a license if the
applicant or licensee or any controlling person of the applicant
or licensee knowingly employs an individual in a senior
management position who has been convicted of a felony under the laws of this state, another state, a territory of the United
States, or the United States or employs any individual in a
senior management position who has had a license relating to the
operation of a gaming facility revoked by this state or any other
(d) Character references may be required of persons
licensed, but the character references may not be obtained from
persons in the same or similar occupations or professions in
§29-25-17. Licenses; availability for inspection; change of
(a) The division shall include on each license that the
(1) The type of license;
(2) The identity and address of the licensee;
(3) The effective date of the license; and
(4) Any other information the division deems appropriate.
(b) Each gaming licensee or licensed supplier of a gaming
facility shall display the license conspicuously in its place of
business or have the license readily available for inspection at
the request of any agent of the division or of the state police.
Each holder of a license to be employed by a gaming facility
shall carry the license on his or her person at all times when present in a gaming facility and, if required by rules adopted by
the division with respect to the particular capacity in which
the licensee is employed, have some indicia of licensure
prominently displayed on his or her person.
(c) Each licensee shall give the division written notice of
any change of address, and any other relevant information
necessary for the maintenance of accurate records by the
§29-25-18. Expiration date and renewal.
(a) A license expires on the fifth anniversary of its
effective date, unless the license is renewed for additional
five-year terms as provided in this section.
(b) At least two months before a license expires, the
division shall send to the licensee, by mail to the last known
address, a renewal application form and notice that states:
(1) The date on which the current license expires;
(2) The date by which the division must receive the renewal
application for the renewal to be issued and mailed before the
existing license expires; and
(3) The amount of the renewal fee.
(c) Before the license expires the licensee may renew it for
successive additional five-year terms if the licensee:
(1) Otherwise is entitled to be licensed;
(2) Pays to the director the following renewal fee:
(A) The sum of twenty-five thousand dollars for a license to
operate a gaming facility;
(B) The sum of five thousand dollars for a license to supply
a gaming facility; and
(C) As set by the division by rule in the case of a license
to be employed by an operator of a gaming facility, not to exceed
three hundred dollars, which renewal fee may be paid on behalf of
the licensee by the employer; and
(3) Submits to the division a renewal application in the
form that the division requires accompanied by satisfactory
evidence of compliance with any additional requirements set by
rules of the division for license renewal.
(d) The division shall renew the license of each licensee
who meets the requirements of this section.
§29-25-19. License denial, revocation and reprimand.
(a) The division may deny a license to any applicant,
reprimand any licensee, or suspend or revoke a license if the
applicant or licensee, or any controlling person of the applicant
(1) Fraudulently or deceptively obtains or attempts to
obtain a license for the applicant or licensee or for another;
(2) Fraudulently or deceptively uses a license; or
(3) Is convicted of a felony under the laws of this state,
another state, a territory of the United States or the United
(b) Instead of or in addition to reprimanding a licensee or
suspending or revoking a license, the division may impose a civil
penalty under section twenty-nine of this article.
§29-25-20. Hearing procedures.
Except as otherwise provided by law, before the division
takes any action under the provisions of section nineteen of this
article, it shall give the persons against whom the action is
contemplated an opportunity for a hearing before the division.
The division shall give notice and hold the hearing in
accordance with state law, the notice to be given to the person
by certified mail to the last known address of the person at
least thirty days before the hearing. The person may be
represented at the hearing by counsel.
If a person fails to comply with a subpoena issued under
this section, on petition of the division, the circuit court may
compel obedience to the subpoena. If after due notice the person
against whom the action is contemplated fails or refuses to
appear, the division may hear and determine the matter.
Any person aggrieved by a final decision of the division in
a contested case, as defined in chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, may take an appeal as allowed in that chapter.
§29-25-21. Consent to warrantless search.
As a condition of licensure and notwithstanding the separate
licensure of the facility as a private club pursuant to article
seven, chapter sixty of this code, any licensee shall consent to
any search without a warrant by agents of the division or of the
state police designated by the division director of the
licensee's person, personal property and effects, and premises
which are located in the gaming facility or adjacent facilities
under the control of the licensee, to inspect or investigate for
criminal violations of this article or violations of rules
adopted by the division.
§29-25-22. Consent to presence of law-enforcement officers;
(a) Consent to presence of law-enforcement officers. -- Any
individual entering a gaming facility shall be advised by the
posting of a notice or other suitable means of the possible
presence of state, county or municipal law-enforcement officers,
and by entering the gaming facility impliedly consents to the
presence of the law-enforcement officers.
(b) Setting of wagering limits. -- The operator of a gaming
facility may set minimum and maximum wagers for any authorized
game of chance.
(a) Imposition and rate. -- There is hereby levied and shall
be collected annual privilege tax against a gaming licensee in an
amount to be determined by application of the rate against
adjusted gross receipts of the licensed gaming facility. The
rate of tax is seventeen percent. This tax shall be in addition
to all other taxes and fees imposed.
(b) Computation and payment of tax. -- The taxes levied
under the provisions of this section shall be due and payable in
monthly installments on or before the twenty-first day of the
month following the month in which the tax is accrued. The
taxpayer shall, on or before the twenty-first day of each month
make out and mail to the limited gaming oversight division a
return for the preceding month, in the form prescribed by the tax
commissioner, showing: (1) The total gross receipts from the
gaming facility for that month and the adjusted gross receipts;
(2) the amount of tax for which the taxpayer is liable; and (3)
any further information necessary in the computation and
collection of the tax which the tax commissioner or the division
may require. Payment of the amount of tax due shall accompany
the return. All payments made pursuant to this section shall be
deposited in the state gaming fund.
(c) Tax procedures. -- Each and every provision of the "West Virginia Tax Procedure and Administration Act" set forth in
article ten, chapter eleven of this code shall apply to the tax
imposed by this section with like effect as if the act were
applicable only to the tax imposed by this section and were set
forth in extenso in this section.
(d) Prohibition on credits. -- Notwithstanding any other
provision of this code to the contrary, no credits may be
allowed against any tax imposed on any taxpayer by this code for
an investment in gaming devices and supplies, for an investment
in real property which would be directly utilized for the
operation of a gaming facility or for any jobs created at a
§29-25-24. State gaming fund; allocation of adjusted gross
(a) There is hereby created a special fund in the state
treasury which shall be designated and known as the "state gaming
fund." All revenues received from licenses and applications
under this article and all tax revenues from the tax imposed
under section twenty-three of this article shall be deposited
with the state treasurer and placed in the state gaming fund.
After payments are made pursuant to subsections (b) and (c) of
this section, expenditures from the fund shall only be authorized
upon appropriation by the Legislature. The revenue shall be disbursed in the manner herein provided for the purpose stated
herein and may not be treated by the auditor and treasurer as
part of the general revenue of the state. The fund shall be an
interest bearing account with interest to be credited to and
deposited in the state gaming fund.
(b) An amount equal to three and one-half percent of the
adjusted gross receipts of the gaming facility shall be paid to
the county wherein the gaming facility is located, to be
allocated by the county commission of the county. At least fifty
percent of this amount shall be used for improvement to county
(c) An amount equal to two percent of the adjusted gross
receipts of the gaming facility shall be held by the treasurer in
the "municipalities revenue fund" and shall be distributed
quarterly among all the municipalities in the county wherein the
gaming facility is located in the manner provided in this
subsection. Each municipality is entitled to an amount
determined by multiplying the total of the "municipalities
revenue fund" by a fraction, the numerator of which is the total
population of the municipality and the denominator of which is
the population of all municipalities within the county. After
determining the amount on a quarterly basis, a warrant of the
state auditor for the sum due to the municipality shall issue and a check drawn thereon making payment of the sum shall thereafter
be distributed to the municipality. Moneys distributed to any
municipality under the provisions of this subsection shall be
deposited in the municipality's general fund and may be expended
by the governing body of the municipality for purposes as the
governing body shall determine to be in the best interest of the
municipality and as otherwise provided by law.
(d) All expenses of the division shall be paid from the
state gaming fund, including reimbursement of the state police
for activities performed at the request of the division in
connection with background investigations or enforcement
activities pursuant to this article. At no time may the division
expenses exceed fifteen percent of the total of the annual
revenue received from the licensee under this article, including
all license fees, taxes or other amounts required to be deposited
in the state gaming fund.
(e) The balance of the state gaming fund shall be allocated
in a manner as may be determined from time to time by the
Legislature for the following purposes: (1) Payment of the
unfunded liability in the teachers retirement system created
pursuant to article seven-a, chapter eighteen of this code; (2)
payment of the unfunded liability in the division of public
safety death, disability and retirement fund created by article two, chapter fifteen of this code; and (3) payment of the
unfunded liability in the judges retirement system created
pursuant to article nine, chapter fifty-one of this code. No
amounts paid from the state gaming fund for the reduction of any
unfunded liability as provided in this subsection shall reduce
any amount which is otherwise statutorily dedicated for the
repayment of any unfunded liability in the programs set forth in
subdivisions (1) through (3) of this subsection.
§29-25-25. Prohibition on unauthorized wagering.
(a) A gaming licensee may not permit any form of wagering
except as authorized under this article.
(b) A gaming licensee shall receive wagers only from an
individual present in a licensed gaming facility.
(c) All gaming facility operations shall utilize a cashless
wagering system whereby all players' money is converted to
tokens, electronic cards or chips at the request of the wagerer
which can only be used for wagering in a licensed gaming
facility, and wagering may not be conducted with money or other
(d) The gaming licensee may not loan to any person money or
any other thing of value for the purpose of permitting that
person to participate in any authorized game of chance.
(e) The gaming licensee is prohibited from offering any property or service, other than incidental food and beverages, to
any person as an inducement to participate in a game of chance.
This prohibition includes the offering of complimentary rooms
in exchange for a guest participating in any game of chance at
the gaming facility.
§29-25-26. Individual gaming restrictions.
An individual may not enter a gaming facility or remain in
a gaming facility to participate in authorized games of chance in
a gaming facility:
(a) If the individual is not a registered overnight guest in
the historic resort hotel on whose premises the gaming facility
(b) If the individual is under the age of twenty-one years;
(c) If the individual is intoxicated;
(d) If the individual is determined by the gaming facility
operator or the division to be unruly, disruptive or otherwise
interfering with operation of the gaming facility; or to be
likely to commit, or to attempt to commit, a violation of this
(e) The individual has been barred by the division from
entering a gaming facility.
§29-25-27. Offenses and penalties.
(a) A gaming licensee is guilty of unlawful operation of a game of chance when:
(1) The licensee operates a game of chance in any location
other than a gaming facility;
(2) The licensee acts, or employs another person to act, as
a shill or decoy to encourage participation in a game of chance
in a gaming facility;
(3) The licensee knowingly permits an individual under the
age of twenty-one years of age to enter or remain in a gaming
facility for the purpose of making a wager; or
(4) The licensee exchanges tokens, chips or other forms of
credit to be used for wagering in a gaming facility for anything
of value except in exchange for money.
(b) A person is guilty of felonious wager when:
(1) The person offers, promises or gives anything of value
or benefit to a person who is connected with a gaming facility,
pursuant to an agreement or arrangement or with intent that the
promise or thing of value or benefit will influence the actions
of the person to whom the offer, promise, or gift was made in
order to affect or attempt to affect the outcome of an authorized
game of chance, or to influence official action of the division.
For the purposes of this subdivision and subdivision (2) of this
subsection, the term "person who is connected with a gaming
facility" includes, but not limited to, an officer or employee of a licensee;
(2) The person solicits or knowingly accepts or receives a
promise of anything of value or benefit while the person is
connected with a gaming facility, pursuant to an understanding or
arrangement or with the intent that the promise or thing of value
or benefit will influence the actions of the person to affect or
attempt to affect the outcome of an authorized game of chance, or
to influence official action of the division;
(3) The person uses or possesses with the intent to use a
device to assist:
(A) In projecting the outcome of an authorized game of
(B) In keeping track of cards played or in play;
(C) In analyzing the probability of the occurrence of an
event relating to an authorized game of chance; or
(D) In analyzing the strategy for playing or betting to be
used in an authorized game of chance, except as permitted by the
(4) The person cheats at an authorized game of chance in a
(5) The person manufactures, sells, or distributes any
cards, chips, dice, game or device which is intended to be used
to violate any provision of this article;
(6) The person instructs a person in cheating or in the use
of a device for that purpose with the knowledge or intent that
the information or use conveyed may be employed to violate any
provision of this article;
(7) The person places a bet after acquiring knowledge, not
available to all players, of the outcome of the game of chance
which is subject of the bet, or aids a person in acquiring the
knowledge for the purpose of placing a bet contingent on that
(8) The person claims, collects, takes, or attempts to
claim, collect or take, money or anything of value into or from
a gaming facility, with intent to defraud, without having made a
wager contingent on winning a game of chance, or claims,
collects, or takes an amount of money or thing of value of
greater value than the amount won;
(9) The person uses counterfeit chips or tokens to place a
wager in a gaming facility;
(10) The person knowingly uses any medium other than chips,
tokens or other methods of credit approved by the division to
place a wager in a gaming facility;
(11) The person, not a gaming licensee or employee or agent
of a gaming licensee acting in furtherance of the gaming
licensee's interests, has in his or her possession any device intended to be used to violate a provision of this article; or
(12) The person, not a gaming licensee or agent of a gaming
licensee acting in furtherance of the gaming licensee's
interests, has in his or her possession any key or device
designed for the purpose of opening, entering, or affecting the
operation of an authorized game of chance, drop box, or an
electronic or mechanical device connected with or used in
connection with an authorized game of chance in a gaming facility
or for removing coins, tokens, chips or other contents therefrom.
(c) Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (a)
of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction
thereof, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or
confined in a county or regional jail for not more than six
(d) Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (b)
of this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction
thereof, shall be fined not less than five thousand dollars nor
more than ten thousand dollars and committed to the department of
corrections of a definite term of imprisonment of not less than
one year nor more than five years.
§29-25-28. Forfeiture of property.
(a) Anything of value, including all traceable proceeds
including, but not limited to, real and personal property, moneys, negotiable instruments, securities and conveyances, is
subject to forfeiture to the state of West Virginia if the item
was used for any of the following:
(1) As a bribe intended to affect the outcome of an
authorized game of chance in a gaming facility; or
(2) In exchange for or to facilitate a violation of this
(b) Subsection (a) of this section does not apply if the act
or omission which would give rise to the forfeiture was committed
or omitted without knowledge or consent of the owner of the
property to be forfeited.
§29-25-29. Civil penalties.
The division may impose on a person who violates a provision
of this article a civil penalty not to exceed five thousand
dollars for each violation, whether or not the person is licensed
under this article.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to allow a local
referendum in a county with an historic resort hotel with at
least 500 rooms regarding the issue of limited gaming at such
hotel. The bill authorizes limited gaming at one licensed
facility meeting various qualifications in the county and establishes an administrative, licensing regulatory and tax
regime regarding limited gaming activities. The bill provides
criminal penalties for certain violations.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.