State ex rel. Mountaineer Park v. Polan

In State ex rel. Mountaineer Park v. Polan, 190 W.Va. 276, 438 S.E.2d 308 (1993), the Court briefly discussed the constitutionality of electronic video lottery. The Court recognized that electronic video lottery is different from the common state- run game, and we questioned in a footnote whether the voters who ratified the amendment to Article VI, Section 36 were approving video lottery operations. Finally, the Court could not find "that the State Lottery Act, which neither defines nor explicitly authorizes 'electronic video lottery,' constitutes a considered judgment by the legislature to implement such a far- reaching scheme to raise revenue." 190 W.Va. at 284, 438 S.E.2d at 316. In Syllabus Point 1 of Mountaineer Park, the Court held: Article VI, section 36 of the West Virginia Constitution provides an exception to the prohibition against lotteries to allow the operation of a lottery which is regulated, controlled, owned and operated by the State of West Virginia in the manner provided by general law. Only those lottery operations which are regulated, controlled, owned and operated in the manner provided by general laws enacted by the West Virginia Legislature may be properly conducted in accordance with the exception created under article VI, section 36 of our Constitution.Applying this rule to the facts before the Court, the Court concluded that: "because the legislature has not enacted general laws for the regulation, control, ownership and operation of electronic video lottery, and because the legislature failed to prescribe adequate standards in the State Lottery Act to guide the Lottery Commission in the exercise of the power conferred upon it with respect to electronic video lottery, the Lottery Commission was without authority under the Constitution to establish electronic video lottery." (190 W.Va. at 285-86, 438 S.E.2d at 317-18.)