(Population 1,854,304 as of 2013)
Back in August, the Charleston Daily Mail reported that the West Virginia Lottery was considering iGaming to help compete against nearby states, though it mainly concerned selling lottery tickets online and not online poker.
According to lottery director John Musgrave, he previously met with casino executives to discuss the possibility.
“We’re still exploring (online gaming) because we feel that’s the way the industry’s moving, so we want to plan for it,” said Musgrave. “We have not yet made any decision for how we’re going to implement it, but we are looking at it, studying it and seeing how our casinos in our jurisdiction can move in that direction.”
The “Mountain State” currently has four racetracks, and apparently all are approaching the idea with an open mind.
"We believe the response from the casinos was favorable and hopefully provided a better understanding of what this sales channel could do to advance technology solutions and position the state for the future of gaming," Musgrave said.
The state Legislature would have to approve any iGaming measures, but as of Sept. 2014 it didn’t seem to be a topic on their plate.
"It's not something we've explored yet, but I might be open to the suggestion if it contained appropriate security and fraud prevention measures," said Senate President Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall.
With gambling revenues on the decline at West Virginia’s brick-and-mortar venues, it’s understandable they’d turn to iGaming as an option. In fact, a study by Morgan Stanley projects West Virginia as one of 20 states that will legalize and regulate online poker, albeit not until 2020.