Last week the U. S. Supreme Court said it will hear New Jersey’s appeal to legalize sports betting. West Virginia Governor Justice, Members of the Legislature and the racing industry needs to “Be Prepared.”
Phil Kabler has an encouraging story in today’s Gazette-Mail. Of course, everything at this point is speculation. However, revenue potential is out there if WV gets ahead of the Border States as it did with the Lottery.
Governor Justice and the Legislature need to do something similar to a Maryland proposal. West Virginia needs to establish a working group to monitor the recent developments, study how sports’ betting was implemented in other states; and recommend changes needed to facilitate sports betting in West Virginia and offer a beginning point for revenue allocation.
The allocation of potential revenue is where the racing industry comes in.
Horse & greyhound owners, trainers, breeders and Jockeys need to develop a strategy. There should not be a Charles Town, Mountaineer, Mardi Gras or Wheeling Island strategy but an industry wide one. It needs to address research, planning, and relationship building, messaging, fund raising and political engagement.
It can no longer be business as usual for government leaders. The racing industry needs to come together. Fresh thinking and an open mind to doing new things will be required.