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Friday, May 25, 2007

'Any' Means Any in West Virginia

- On Tuesday, West Virginia's Court of Appeals rejected the constitutional challenge by the West Virginia Family Foundation to the upcoming referendums on table games at four racetracks, and the votes will go on as scheduled.

Ohio and Jefferson counties will hold the first balloting on June 9, and began early voting Friday. Hancock County is scheduled to vote on June 30, and Kanawha County on Aug. 11. [Times West Virginia]
Originally, all of the votes were scheduled for June 9, but two of the counties failed to advertise the elections 30 days in advance as required by law. [Charleston Daily Mail] Er, oops.

The opponents' argument that the 1984 law that authorized a State Lottery didn't apply to table games seemed to make common sense, but not legal sense, at least not to three of the five sitting judges, who accepted the state's argument that the term "lottery" has broad meaning and refused to even hear the case.
In response to the foundation's lawsuit, lawyers for the state Lottery said in court records: "Any scheme or device through which a chance to win a prize is exchanged for consideration is a ‘lottery.' That has been the law for many decades.

"And ‘any' means any," the Lottery said. "Whether the ‘scheme or device' is a scratch-off ticket, video poker terminal, pay-off pinball machine, punch board, theater give-away night or a casino-style table game, ‘any' means any."