West Virginia legalized online poker back in 2019 but nothing much has happened since then with regards to online poker rooms in the state.
There were talks initially that the online poker market in West Virginia could be too small to be attractive and hence West Virginia moved ahead and signed the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) in the fall of 2023.
When West Virginia joined the MSIGA agreement, PokerStars along with BetMGM took the time to congratulate the West Virginia Lottery Commission for entering a multi-state poker pool with Nevada, New Jersey, Michigan and Delaware. John Myers, Director for the West Virginia Lottery Commission said they were initially expected online poker rooms would go live in Q1 of 2024 but this is unlikely now.
Myers did confirm that poker operators have initiated the process to commence online poker operations in the state but did not confirm the names of the operators. The process will take time as poker operators will have to submit their online poker proposals, get them approved by the regulator and then get their online poker software tested and approved before being given the green light to go live.
Given the different processes that need to be checked and approved, Myers believes that online poker is likely to go live in West Virginia towards the end of 2024.
Gaming regulations in the state require online poker operators to partner with a land based casino operator in order to launch an online poker room in West Virginia. As of now, BetMGM is in the best position to do this since the operator it has partnered with Greenbrier Resort to launch sports betting and online casino services.
The other likely operators that could launch in West Virginia are PokerStars, World Series of Poker (WSOP) and Run It Once (RIO) who will first have to form partnerships with land based casinos. Their options include the casinos in Wheeling Island, Mountaineer or Mardi Gras.