Online Casinos Start to Launch in West Virginia
West Virginia is now the fourth state to legalize online casinos in the USA, after New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.
After years of negotiations, Jim Justice, the Governor of West Virginia, passed bill HB2934. In the two weeks after receiving the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act bill, Governor Justice did not sign nor veto it. This meant that once the two-week time span had elapsed, the bill automatically became a new law.
Residents in WV have State Delegate Shawn Fluharty to thank, as he has been advocating for the legalization of online gambling in the state since 2017. For the first two years, Fluharty had little to no support.
Once the law had been changed to allow online casinos in the state, it took over a year before operators started to make the move into the Mountain State.
DraftKings became the first legal online casino operating in West Virginia, after launching through the license of Hollywood Casino.
DraftKings kicks off iGaming in WV
DraftKings was the first casino online in WV and launched over the summer in July (2020). The casino came out with a mobile and desktop platform, offering games like slots, blackjack, roulette, and other popular titles. Players who were already members of DraftKings can use existing credentials to log into the online casino.
Before DraftKings entered the Mountain State, residents looked forward to playing the state lottery. Upon launch, the Director of West Virginia Lottery, John Meyers, said:
“This is the culmination of a great deal of hard work and planning over the course of the last year, and we are looking forward to the licensing and approval of our other casinos and their affiliated providers when they are ready to do so.”
Currently, DraftKings operates an online casino and sportsbook in three states; Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and now West Virginia. The sportsbook alone can be accessed from other states including Oregon and Arkansas.
The company is most known for its sports betting platform, which is found on the same platform as the casino.
Future of Online Casinos in WV
Shortly after DraftKings debuted in WV and kicked off iGaming in the state, BetMGM became the second online casino to join the market. More games were introduced to the market, including exclusive jackpot titles.
BetMGM also offers a sportsbook in WV and is available in other states, including New Jersey.
The CEO of BetMGM, Adam Greenblatt, commented on the launch:
“The addition of the leading iGaming offering in West Virginia is a powerful differentiator for BetMGM. With the largest slate of casino games in the state, we’re confident that our superior offering will quickly become the online gaming destination of choice for players.”
With DraftKings and BetMGM now both offering an online casino in WV, other operators are expected to follow in their shoes shortly. FanDuel is rumored to be the third operator launching in WV before the year (2020) ends.