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July 01, 2015

W.Va. Lottery Agency Says Gambling Fundraising Events Are Illegal

The state Lottery Commission is exploring ways to stem a resurgence of casino-style charity fundraisers, which the agency contends are barred by West Virginia law, reports the Charleston Gazette. West Virginia law makes possession of roulette wheels, blackjack tables, craps tables, and other gaming devices that are not licensed by the state Lottery a felony punishable by up to three years in prison and $100,000 in fines.

"It's pretty prevalent in my neck of the woods, in north central West Virginia," Commissioner David McCormick Jr. said, adding that the proliferation of gambling fundraisers is "not fair to the casinos" that pay $2.5 million a year to the state for operating licenses. John Musgrave, the Lottery's director, said county prosecutors have shown little interest in charging charities that host casino nights and that the commission might seek legislation giving it greater authority to crack down on the events.