Lottery Assesses 'Faux Fraternals' That Cheat for More Machines

By Kabler, Phil | The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV), August 27, 2014 | Go to article overview

Lottery Assesses 'Faux Fraternals' That Cheat for More Machines


Kabler, Phil, The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV)


Lottery commissioners reviewed violations of state lottery laws by 17 fraternal organizations Tuesday and focused concerns on two organizations that want to continue to operate lodges that are not located in their home counties. "Obviously, when you have an organization that's three counties away from its [gaming] facility, 80 or 100 miles away, that makes no sense, Commissioner Michael Adams said during a work session to review the findings of a nine- month investigation of so-called faux fraternals - Limited Video Lottery locations that operate under the guise of being fraternal lodges in order to have 10 LVL machines, instead of the maximum of five permitted in bars and clubs.

The issue surfaced last fall, when bar owners complained about fraternal "lodges located long distances from where the organizations are chartered.

Of those investigated by the Lottery, the Mercer County Fraternal Order of Police and the Fraternal Order of Orioles Post 299 have since surrendered their Lottery licenses; the Clarksburg Elks Lodge had its national charter revoked; and the Princeton FOP is inactive while it seeks a lodge location in its home county.

Another fraternal, the West Virginia State FOP Lodge, moved its headquarters from Charleston to Clarksburg, where its lodge/gaming facility is located, in order to comply with Lottery regulations, commissioners were advised.

At issue Tuesday were the Monongalia-Preston FOP Lodge and the Marshall County FOP, which want to continue to operate lodges in New Martinsville, in Wetzel County, proposing in their corrective action plans to begin holding their lodge meetings in the Northern Panhandle town.

During discussions Tuesday, commissioners were adamant that the lodges must be in the same county where the fraternal organizations are chartered.

"It makes perfect sense the [gaming] location has to be where the charter is, Adams noted.

"Are we really discussing whether the Mon-Preston Lodge meets in New Martinsville? Of course they don't, Commissioner David McCormick commented.

John Melton, retired Lottery Commission attorney who helped draft the Limited Video Lottery legislation, told commissioners the intent of the law was to set high standards for fraternal organizations in order to receive special status to have 10 LVL machines. …

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