With the race to launch sports betting programs officially begun, West Virginia’s effort to get ahead of the curve continues to be bogged down by the question of whether the state will give the sports leagues a money-for-nothing “integrity fee.”
In the aftermath of a closed-door meeting brokered by Governor Jim Justice (pictured), who has a clear conflict of interest by virtue of his ownership of a resort that does business with the NFL and the PGA, a West Virginia lawmaker is seeking access to any and all information discussed and disclosed during the session.
Shawn Fluharty, a Delegate from Ohio County, has sent a letter to the director of the state’s Lottery Commission seeking information under the Freedom of Information Act. The letter seeks all meeting notes, sign-in sheets, email messages discussing the meeting, handouts distributed during the meeting, visitor logs, and any video surveillance of the room at the Lottery Commission where the meeting was held.
The information should shed plenty of light both on the involvement of Justice and his advisors in attempting to cajole the state’s casinos into paying the integrity fee, along with whatever the sports leagues may be saying or doing to try to squeeze West Virginia to pay the fee.