(b) Legislative findings: --
(1) The Legislature finds that horse racing and dog racing and breeding play a critical role in the economy of this state, enhance the revenue collected at the racetracks, contribute vital revenues to the counties and municipalities in which the activities are conducted, provide for significant employment and protect and preserve greenspace and; that a substantial state interest exists in protecting these industries. Furthermore, it finds that the breeding and racing of thoroughbred horses is an integral part of West Virginia's agriculture, and that agriculture is a critical ingredient in West Virginia's economy. It further finds that the operation of table games pursuant to this article, at racetracks in this state that hold racetrack video lottery licenses and licenses to conduct horse or dog racing, will protect and preserve the horse racing and dog racing industries and horse and dog breeding industries, will protect and enhance the tourism industry in this state and indirectly benefit other segments of the economy of this state.
(2) The Legislature finds that, pursuant to section thirty-six, article VI of the Constitution of the State of West Virginia grants exclusively to the state the right to lawfully own and operate a lottery in this state.
(3) The Legislature finds that recognized principals of ownership allow an owner to maintain ownership while operating an enterprise through agents and licensees.
(4) The Legislature finds that it is in the best interest of the State of West Virginia for the state to operate a lottery in the form of table games.
(5) The Legislature finds that the table games authorized under the provisions of this article are lotteries as each game involves consideration, the possibility of a prize and their outcome is determined predominantly by chance, which the common law of West Virginia has long held are the three essential elements of a lottery.
(6) The Legislature finds that the lottery authorized by the provisions of this article is the exclusive intangible intellectual property of the State of West Virginia as are the other versions of lottery authorized under this chapter.
(7) The Legislature finds that the most effective manner in which the state can operate and regulate the forms of lottery authorized by the provisions of this article is to do so through licensees and further that effective operation and regulation requires limiting the number of locations at which the lottery and lottery games so authorized are allowed.
(8) The Legislature finds that limiting such table games as authorized under this article to facilities authorized by the provisions of article twenty-three, chapter nineteen of this code which are licensed pursuant to the provisions of article twenty-two-a of this chapter to operate video lottery terminals is the most efficient and effective manner in which to regulate licensees.
(9) The Legislature finds that the granting of licenses pursuant to the provisions of this article while maintaining all ownership rights and exercising control through strict regulation of all West Virginia lottery table games authorized by the provisions of this article constitutes an appropriate exercise by the Legislature of the power granted it by the Constitution pursuant to the provisions of section thirty-six, article VI of the Constitution of West Virginia.
(10) The Legislature finds that the operation of West Virginia lottery table games at racetracks licensed pursuant to the provision of article twenty-two-a of this chapter and by the provisions of article twenty-three, chapter nineteen of this code serves to protect, preserve and promote the horse and dog racing and breeding industries of this state and will serve to protect, promote and enhance the tourism industry of the state as well as the general fiscal well-being of the state and its subdivisions.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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