It’s official! West Virginia became the fourth US state to legalize online casino gambling, following Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania’s footsteps. DraftKings was the first operator to launch in the state, but more will follow.
- West Virginia enters the online gambling scene
- Four US states now allow legal online gambling
- DraftKings was the first to launch an online casino app in the state
Online Casinos Land in West Virginia
The Mountain State, following years of lukewarm consideration, has finally allowed online gambling. The process to legalize both casino and poker sites started when the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act became law in March 2019. Things were proceeding smoothly, and even the emergency rules were drafted to get the industry up and running.
Like sports betting, the online gambling framework relies on the five land-based casinos as primary licensees. Each of them has the right to launch up to three casino skins.
DraftKings Takes the Lead
Before the launch of DraftKings, WV Lottery Director John Myers announced:
We have had discussions with all of our casinos. We expect one could be in a position to launch in July if their suppliers achieve licensing approval.
DraftKings launched in collaboration with Penn National Gaming’s Hollywood Casino, but it would be no surprise if Penn National also uses its sports betting Barstool brand for online gambling, too. Flutter would probably launch with FanDuel Casino.
In fact, after the launch, Director John Myers added:
This is the culmination of a great deal of hard work and planning over the last year. We are looking forward to the licensing and approval of our other casinos and their affiliated providers when they are ready to do so.
Online Casino Games Portfolio
As for now, DraftKings is the only casino provider available to West Virginians. It has launched with a single internet casino app that serves all now-four states that have a regulated casino market online.
Its app is available for Android and iOS devices across the state, so anyone old enough to gamble can download it and start enjoying the games offered.
Last in the Game
Some of these games are of DraftKing’s creation even. Players will have to wait a bit for the slots selection, considering real money online slots are usually the last category of games regulators approve. Live dealer games are off the limits for now, as well.
DraftKings is known to sports bettors in the US since it has been operating its Daily Fantasy Sports site since 2012 when the Supreme Court overturned the sports betting ban. It launched its casino site in Pennsylvania in May 2020, and in New Jersey in June 2020.
The Future of US Casino Sites
Michigan is preparing to launch the first real money online casinos later this year or in early 2021. The expectations are that DraftKings will also start there, considering it has a tribal partnership.
However, given the COVID-19 pandemic, the US online gambling landscape may drastically alter. Social distancing and fear of the virus have led many land-based players to switch online. The interest in online gambling is rising all across the country.
Its success in the three states that had online gambling running amidst the pandemic shows that it is an essential income source during the health and economic crisis. It is likely for other states to consider regulating online gambling to receive a state budget boost.