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Elks Lodge Continues Gambling Battle In West Virginia Courts

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The state of West Virginia has a bitter gambling debate eating up their court system. One one side is the Elks Lodge 482, and the group responsible for governing charitable gambling and liquor licenses in West Virginia.

The Elks Lodge had video raffle ticket dispensers seized by regulators back in January. The regulators raided the Lodge, claiming that illegal gambling activity had been taking place. The Lodge contends they were doing nothing illegal and want their machines back.

On the day of the raid, the Lodge also lost their liquor license and the right to offer charity bingo games and other raffle games. They have not regained that right, and they are hoping the court sees that they were doing nothing illegal.

The state has their own interests to protect. Many of these charity organizations had been running video gambling machines. The state has stepped in and offers their own video gambling machines now, and the Lodge and other charities are concerned they cannot raise the money they used to.

"The LVLs across the state are killing the ability of the charities to raise money," said William Brewer, "These charities are dying." Brewer is not alone in his thoughts, many other charities are also concerned about the issue.

The Elks Lodge will have their day in court on July 16th. That is when Kanawha Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib has set a hearing on the matter. The Lodge has filed the case against several of the state officials responsible with shutting them down.

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