Where You Can Play Online Poker In West Virginia
Can You Play Online Poker in West Virginia?
Regulation is currently under discussion.
Current West Virginia Gambling Laws
Casinos became legalized in West Virginia in 1994 and there are currently five properties across the state, all “racinos” or pari-mutuel dog or horse racing facilities that also offer other games such as video lottery terminals and table games. Meanwhile, the state’s horse racing industry dates back to the 1930s, and they were also the first Appalachian state to introduce a lottery.
Given West Virginia is situated near markets like Pennsylvania and New Jersey, online gaming is a boat they don’t want to miss. The state’s lottery director has even said that online gaming is “the way of the future.”
They also could use a boost because land-based revenues have declined in recent years. As nearby states continue their gaming expansion, West Virginia has seen their piece of the pie shrink. They still attract players from Virginia and Kentucky — two states without casinos — but they lost a lot of customers when states like Ohio, Maryland, and Pennsylvania all opened their own markets.
In early 2019, the WV Lottery Interactive Wagering Act — which regulates online poker and casino games among the five existing casinos — passed the House by a wide margin. The Senate then made some minor amendments before sending it back to the House who passed it, and in late March the bill automatically became law after enough time elapsed (i.e., without Governor Jim Justice's signature).
The bill offers licenses for $250,000 apiece renewable every five years for $100,000. A state tax of 15 percent would be issued on online gambling revenue.
All of which means West Virginia is poised to become the fifth state to license and regulate online poker, joining Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. Whether the state will be able to join multi-state compacts with the other states to share player pools remains to be seen, although that would seem a necessity for the state given its small population.
Best Online Poker Sites for West Virginia Players
None at present. But you can always play poker for free with the WSOP Social App.