Gamblers in West Virginia received great news this week. The state is taking its first official steps towards legalizing online casino gambling. West Virginia Lottery officials recently announced that they are in the process of drafting and filing preliminary rules for the new gambling industry. It’s expected to be up and running by summertime 2020.
- West Virginia begins drafting rules for its online casino industry.
- The regulated iGaming industry is expected to be up and running by summer 2020.
- The licensing system is expected to follow the existing sports betting framework.
What Will West Virginia Online Gambling Look Like?
Last year, lawmakers made significant changes to the state’s gambling legislation. West Virginia online gambling is the latest step in a series of progressive movements for the state’s gambling sector. Alongside Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, West Virginia is now one of the four states across the US where online casinos are legal.
West Virginia Lottery Director, John Myers, recently told West Virginia MetroNews:
We want to go and visit some states that have the product so we can make sure we are doing it in the right way.
Following the Footsteps of Sports Betting
It’s believed that West Virginia online gambling will operate in a very similar way to how sports betting currently runs in the state. By this, we mean that casinos will form contracts that allow outside providers to operate their products, while the West Virginia Lottery will license and regulate the industry.
Myers stated the following:
When we were doing sports wagering, we were learning new terminology. There are new ways to set things up inside the casinos. You’ve got differences in the way you set up table games to sports wagering to racetrack video lottery.
Anyone currently involved in sports betting in West Virginia will recognize the similarities between the two licensing frameworks.
- Interactive gaming licenses now cost $250,000, and renewals cost $100,000 every five years.
- Management service provider licenses stand at $100,000.
- Supplier licenses are priced at $10,000.
In addition to these costs, it is also reported that the state will tax 15% on all online gambling revenue. This new industry has the potential to do wonders for the state’s economy as well as bringing many new jobs into the area for residents.
Which West Virginia Casinos Will Offer iGaming?
Back in 2018, all five casinos in the Mountain State rushed to secure sports betting partners. It’s safe to say that most of them will apply for their online gambling permits with just as much haste and enthusiasm. As of now, here are the existing partnerships:
- The Greenbrier – FanDuel Sportsbook
- Hollywood – William Hill, DraftKings
- Mardi Gras – Miomni
- Mountaineer – William Hill
- Wheeling Island – Miomni
Though only a small step forward, West Virginia’s new laws are very progressive. They offer a glimpse of a future where America is far more tolerant of online casino gaming. Even though there are many residents who criticize it, there is no denying that there is a lot of money to be made from legal online gambling. Ultimately, if it’s well moderated, the opportunities are endless.