The Senate had the last vote before the legislation was sent to Gov. Jim Justice for final approval. He took no action, meaning that the bill went into effect automatically after 15 days.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that Gov. Justice is indifferent to poker. He also let a sports betting bill pass in the same manner.
What Will West Virginia’s Online Poker Bill Include?
The newly passed legislation will create five online gambling licenses, including one for each of the state’s casinos. These casinos include:
- Casino Club at The Greenbrier
- Hollywood Casino Charles Town
- Mardi Gras Casino & Resort
- Mountaineer Casino
- Wheeling Island
Each casino can purchase their internet gaming license for $250,000. The license will last for five years, at which point it becomes subject to a $100,000 renewal fee.
Online poker, slots, and table games are all covered by licensing. Internt gaming revenue will be taxed at a 15% rate, which matches New Jersey.
What Impact Will West Virginia Online Poker Have?
West Virginia won’t make much of an impact on the US internet poker market by itself. They have less than 2 million residents, ranking them 38th in total population.
They also don’t have a lot of money to throw around either. The Mountaineer State ranks 49th in family income out of all US states and territories. With under 2 million people and low income across the board, West Virginia online poker won’t offer much from a liquidity standpoint.
Nevertheless, they’re making an impact on the market by becoming yet another state to legalize internet gambling. Furthermore, they could join in a multi-state pact with Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada to create a larger poker player pool. Pennsylvania will also become an option once their market is up and running.