West Virginia Online Poker Joins Interstate Compact Ahead Of Launch

Written By Hill Kerby on November 20, 2023
Image of someone playing online poker with their laptop and chips for a story about WV online poker being the latest market to join the MSIGA.

West Virginia has officially joined the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA), paving the way for interstate online poker. While the news does not come with an official launch date, it will make that eventual debut exponentially more significant. 

The Mountain State is the fifth state to enter into the MSIGA, meaning WV online poker players will have the opportunity to compete across state lines with the following jurisdictions:

  • Delaware
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey

Interstate compact the best option for WV online poker

Online poker has been legal in West Virginia since March 2019, though no operators have gone live in almost half a decade. 

Since then, Michigan and Pennsylvania online poker sites have successfully launched, but with different models. Pennsylvania operates under a ring-fenced model, while Michigan allows for interstate expansion.

By opting for the interstate route, West Virginia opens its doors to get its share of a significantly larger revenue pool. It’s also the best option for players.

“I am pleased that our West Virginia iGaming providers will now have the opportunity to offer multi-state poker to our players,” said West Virginia Lottery Director, John Myers, in a press release. “This will greatly increase the potential pool of participants and thus allow our players to play for bigger winnings.”

West Virginia Delegate and NCLGS President, Shawn Fluharty, echoed his sentiment on X (formerly Twitter):

Which online poker operators will launch in West Virginia? 

In its announcement, the WV Lottery stated that all iGaming operators interested in offering interstate online poker would have to submit a letter of intent and gain approval from West Virginia and all other MSIGA states before launching. 

Translation: this could take a while, but late is better than never. In the meantime, let’s look at which operators we expect to go live in West Virginia.


Imagine competing for a coveted WSOP bracelet from within West Virginia state lines.

WSOP.com operates in four states – Nevada, New Jersey, Michigan and Pennsylvania. If you count the affiliated 888poker in Delaware, it’s five, but that market only offers merged cash game player pools.

Either way, its presence is undeniable in brand recognition and regulated online poker. Caesars owns the brand, meaning it has a built-in connection with Caesars Palace Online Casino WV

These signs point to a clear path for WSOP to launch in West Virginia, but WSOP’s interstate situation is less clear. 

WSOP has had combined player pools in NV and NJ since 2019, but those states play on an antiquated version of its software. The new WSOP software debuted in PA and MI, but the site remains ring-fenced in those states.

PokerStars WV

The largest name in online poker, PokerStars, is another near-lock to operate in West Virginia. Its parent company, Flutter, owns FanDuel Casino WV, giving it an iGaming connection for approval.

PokerStars operates in three states – Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It became the second site to offer interstate poker when Michigan and New Jersey combined player pools on Jan. 1. The combined MI/NJ site has since contributed to Michigan overtaking Pennsylvania as the top US online poker market.

Of course, that’s great news for a prospective PokerStars WV, which would immediately launch on the combined MI/NJ skin.

BetMGM Poker WV, partypoker, Borgata Poker

BetMGM Poker is one of the most trafficked sites in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Its greater poker network also includes partypoker and Borgata Poker, with one or two sites live in Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Many in the Mountain State are also aware of the brand because of its very popular BetMGM Casino WV.

BetMGM Poker upgraded its software at the end of 2022 and will be another major player in the WV online poker economy.

RunItOnce Poker WV

The final prospective operator, RunItOnce Poker, has yet to launch in any US market. However, it’s poised to enter the discussion and has an entryway to regulatory approval through a partnership with BetRivers Casino WV.

RIO is an authority in poker training websites, founded by high stakes legend Phil Galfond. His first venture into online poker came in Europe, but he opted to exit the market and prepare for a new opportunity in the US. 

If West Virginia becomes RIO’s first market, it won’t make much of an impact. However, a full-scale launch across multiple markets could make some noise.

WV MSIGA addition a huge step forward for online poker

Online poker’s momentum continues to grow as we look ahead. Rhode Island legalized online poker last month, becoming the eighth state to do so, and its first poker sites could launch as early as March 2024.

West Virginia’s entrance into the MSIGA means more than half of the legal US poker markets are a part of it. That’s a huge deal, and it should incentivize Rhode Island and Connecticut (legalized in May 2021, yet to launch) to join the party.

Of course, that leaves one state yet to enter the discussion: Pennsylvania. The Keystone State boasted the largest tournament series outside of WSOP bracelet events, but it’s lost that edge throughout 2023 since Michigan and New Jersey combined player pools.

As more states legalize online poker (and hopefully join the MSIGA), Pennsylvania will continue to feel the pressure to join. With 10.3 million adults in the state, its entrance would increase the overall MSIGA player pool by more than 50% – the five MSIGA states’ total population equals roughly 20 million.

When WV online poker goes live, it will make up about 7% of the player pool. No matter how you slice it, interstate poker is a massive win for the state and its players.

Photo by Shutterstock.com
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Hill Kerby

Hill Kerby comes from a background of poker, sports and psychology. He brings all of that expertise into his writing, where he contributes content in the growing legalized sports betting, online casino and gambling industry.

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