West Virginia Lawmakers Seek to Prevent Sports Bettors from Harassing Athletes
Legislators in West Virginia have introduced a bill seeking to protect athletes, coaches and officials from being harassed by sports bettors.
HB 3310 is a bipartisan piece of legislation devised by four members of the West Virginia House of Delegates.
It aims to give the West Virginia Lottery the power to ban any bettors that harass a player, coach or athlete.
The bill reads as follows: “A patron may be banned from sports betting pursuant to subsection (d) of this section if the commission determines that the patron has harassed or shown a harmful pattern of conduct directed at a sports official, coach or any participants of a sporting event.”
It follows news that the Ohio Casino Control Commission has floated the idea of banning sports bettors that harass college athletes.
University of Dayton basketball coach Anthony Grant said his players were targeted by angry bettors on social media following a 63-62 home defeat to VCU at UD Arena last month.
Hofstra University and the University of New Mexico have reported similar issues.
The bill in West Virginia includes professional and college athletes, although it does not provide a concrete definition of what constitutes harassment or a harmful pattern of conduct.
The Mountain State’s legislative session runs until March 11, giving lawmakers just a few weeks to push this bill through both chambers if it is to be enshrined in state law.