West Virginia is a rich gambling state with several available options. It recently joined the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) so online poker players could compete against those in other states. However, players cannot participate until operators launch a poker component within West Virginia.
PlayWV spoke with West Virginia Lottery Executive Director John Myers on the timeline of a launch.
Once live, the Mountain State would offer the following gambling verticals:
- Online casinos
- Online sportsbooks
- Daily fantasy sports
- WV online poker
Poker operators are taking their time to launch in the Mountain State
West Virginia officially joined the MSIGA last November as the fifth state to do so. The other four states include:
- New Jersey
In order to participate, the state needs an operator to first launch a poker platform. Myers was expecting someone to come forward during Q1, but that appears extremely unlikely.
“At this time, from what I understand, they’ve had other priorities and just haven’t gotten it launched yet,” Myers told PlayWV.
Myers also said that any operator is able to roll out online poker. He recently spoke to multiple providers. The response he received:
“Basically, all I can get from them is [a launch] later this year.”
Myers expects online poker to be a “moderate” revenue generator for the Mountain State.
West Virginia market features all four major gambling verticals
Despite the size of West Virginia, it’s considered an attractive market for operators because of the different gambling options available for players. Myers explained the reasoning behind joining the MSIGA:
“We have a group of players here and it allows them to compete on a larger scale and to compete against players from other states. At times, there’s not a full table with people in West Virginia that play. They can play against others and have that opportunity.”
While the MSIGA would be a great addition for poker players in the state, its bread and butter is its WV online casino market. The Mountain State set a monthly record in December, producing $15.9 million in revenue.
December’s total put the state at $157.2 million in 2023 revenue, which also generated a record.
“Online gaming has continued to grow, and there are some reasons for that,” Myers told PlayWV. “We’re seeing a younger market, 30- and 40-year-olds that play those games whereas the retail casino atmosphere, traditionally, is a little bit older.”
Sports betting has not grown at the rate of online casinos, mainly because the state doesn’t have a pro sports team, Myers explained.
In addition to those options, West Virginia welcomed a new daily fantasy operator and its PrizePicks Arena to the state last month.
When online poker finally does launch, West Virginia will be packed with gambling options.