The West Virginia Lottery Commission approved online poker on April 29. The measure now heads to the Secretary of State, Mac Warner, who’ll decide whether to accept or reject the online gaming package.
Assuming Warner approves the matter soon, West Virginia online poker sites could launch in June. If Warner takes his time, then the market might have to wait until July or later.
WV Poker Sites Ready to Go
John Myers, head of the WV Lottery Commission, noted that the state’s online poker rooms are primed and read to go. They simply need the Secretary of State’s approval.
“Once approved, West Virginia casinos can begin offering iGaming under the emergency rules and [with] minimum internal controls,” Myers explained. “Those rules will be good for 15 months until the permanent legislative rule is adopted by the legislature.”
Poker isn’t the only form of gaming on the agenda. Online casinos will also be eligible to launch once Warner gives the okay.
The West Virginia Legislature approved the Lottery Interactive Wagering Act in March 2019. This laws lets gaming sites offer a casino and/or poker room.
Licensed sites can operate up to three casino and/or poker skins under its license. Operators must pay a $100,000 license fee and 15% tax on gross revenue.
Coronavirus Hastens Need for WV Online Gaming
The Mountaineer State has put a rush on internet gaming due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Online poker and casino traffic has spiked rapidly amid coronavirus fears and shutdowns.
West Virginia and other states are still unable to open their land-based casinos and poker rooms. Therefore, online gaming has suddenly become much more appealing.
The WV Lottery Commission would love to get online casinos and poker sites running ASAP. Doing so will allow them and operators to take advantage of the most-profitable point in US internet gaming history.