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Video Poker in West Virginia

The state of West Virginia had video poker gambling issues for quite a while. Back in May-2001, the state's Governor, Bob Wise, signed a bill to regulate and tax the state's video poker machines. This bill legalized them for gambling for the first time ever, but it also included a bitterly contested provision that banned these machines from convenience stores, gas stations and grocery stores. Prior to that, video poker machines had been legal in West Virginia only if used for amusement purposes. The problem, supporters of the new law said, is that these amusement machines became illegal gambling devices where players actually received winnings. There was even a term for them in the state - "gray machines." Under the new law, the state's estimated 13,500 "gray machines" were replaced by 9,000 new machines. The provision keeping the new machines out of stores, described as a measure to protect children from gambling, drew bitter criticism from numerous small retailers.

West Virginia’s government has never really sought to put up a strong fight against gambling. Back in mid-2000 as South carolina sought to ban the machines, they quickly found their way across the border to West Virginia where Governor Wise was working on the legislation that would eventually legalize video poker and use its tax proceeds to provide college scholarships.

An interesting fact regarding video poker in West Virginia:
The 5,329 machines in operation by the end of fiscal 2003 generated $66 million for state government and $3 million for counties and cities, but the biggest chunk of profits, $99 million, went to retailers such as Oliverio and companies that lease the machines to clubs.

For those stuck within states that have outlawed video poker, any one of the fine Internet casinos detailed below should serve as an excellent choice until your next visit to Las Vegas itself:

24kt Gold Casino
Golden Palace Online Casino
Grand Online Casino
Flamingo Club Casino