West Virginia Goes Live with iGaming after Launch of DraftKings Casino

As a surprise to many, the state of West Virginia finally got started in the online gambling world yesterday. For some time now, online gamblers have waited with bated breath for a fifth state to begin providing online gambling services. DraftKings announced this week that its app is now live via Android and iOS devices. Players have to be located in the state to download the app and begin enjoying online casino gaming.

DraftKings is a Go

DraftKings has been quite busy this year, with a standalone app just launched in Pennsylvania and now West Virginia. They also offer a standalone casino in the Garden State. The brand should launch in Michigan as well, once their online gambling industry is live, as they already have a partnership in the state.

In West Virginia, a single online casino app is used by DraftKings. The casino consists of several table games including some created by the brand themselves. Players can wager from $1 to $5,000 on these table games.

Unfortunately for slot game fans, the app does not offer any slot machines as of yet. It typically takes longer for slots to be approved by regulators. So it may be some time still before the app launches this type of content. They also do not have a live dealer section, but this may be added in the future.

For DraftKings to offer online casino gaming, they operate under the license of Hollywood Casino. They actually joined forces with the brand some time ago, after the sports betting ban was lifted in 2018.

An Exciting Time for iGaming

In the US, online casino and poker gaming was originally launched in 2013 via New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada. It was not until 2017 that we saw Pennsylvania enter the fray and they didn’t even launch services until 2019. Now that West Virginia has launched and Michigan should by the end of this year or early next year, things are looking up for the online gambling industry.

West Virginia has acted relatively quickly, having legalized the WV Lottery Interactive Wagering Act in March of last year. We have seen more consideration for online gambling over the past few years than ever before in the US.

Analysts believe that due to the recent pandemic, more states will begin to look to online gambling as a revenue source. Across the US, states shut down non-essential businesses, which meant casinos were not going to offer services. This meant a loss in the millions for local cities and states, funds that they rely on within fiscal budgets.

States like New Jersey has still been able to thrive without land-based gaming through iGaming. While the money generated is not as much as it would be if land-based casinos were operational, it still helps.

It will be interesting to see if over the next few months, states start pushing online gambling legislation to have some form of revenues as the US continues to deal with the pandemic. It does not appear that the nation will be getting back to normal anytime soon.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.