West Virginia Online Poker Laws
West Virginia has become an online gambling mecca in the last few years, legalizing online sports betting, online casino gambling and online poker in short order.
Online sports betting went live incredibly fast, with the ink barely dry on the Governor’s signature before the first sports bets were being made by West Virginia residents. Online casino and online poker have taken longer.
In fact, at time of publication no online casino or online poker sites have gone live in the Mountain State.
Is Online Poker Legal in West Virginia?
It’s legal. In 2019 West Virginia lawmakers passed the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act, or H 2934. The bill fully legalized online gambling, including online poker in the state. All online gambling is licensed and regulated by the West Virginia Lottery.
Are Other Forms of Gambling Legal in Virginia?
Yes. West Virginia is currently home to five casinos. They include:
Hollywood Casino is the largest land-based casino in the state with over 2000 slot machines, 75 tables and a 16-table poker room. They are partnered with William Hill for their land-based sportsbook and DraftKings for online sport betting.
Mountaineer was one of the first racinos in the country and is located in the northern part of the state. It has 1,100 slot machines, and 40 tables games. They are partnered with William Hill for their land-based sportsbook, but do not have an online sportsbook option yet.
The Greenbrier is a private casino open only to club members, Greenbrier property owners and guests of the resort. It has a land-based and online sports betting partnership with FanDuel and a second online sportsbook partnership with BetMGM.
The Mardi Gras Casino has 1000 slot machines along with a large selection of table games and a poker room. They also offer year-round grey hound and simulcast horse racing. Their land-based sportsbook is partnered with IGT.
Wheeling Island also has a greyhound racing track as well as 1200 slot machines, table games and a nine-table poker room. They are partnered with IGT for their land-based sportsbook.
Social gaming remains illegal in West Virginia under the law which states “If any person at any place, public or private, bet or wage money or other thing of value on any game of chance … he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”
West Virginia Laws Pertinent to Online Poker
The passing of the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act made online poker legal in the state. Any of the state’s five brick and mortar casinos can apply for a license to operate online poker sites in the state.
The brick and mortar casinos can partner with online poker operators to run sites under their names There have been no official partnerships between West Virginia casinos and online poker operators announced yet.
Since the passing of the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act the road to the launch of the first online poker sites in the state has been long. At the time of publication, no poker sites have been launched with an expected date for the first online poker site to go live sometime in 2021.
When online poker launches in the state it will be limited to players within the state borders. West Virginia currently has not signed any compacts to share player liquidity with other states that have legalized online poker.
Compacts to share players already exist between Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. West Virginia lawmakers may be waiting for a final ruling on the Wire Act and what exactly it covers before signing on to compacts with other states.