West Virginia: When Will iGaming Launch?

When Pennsylvania approved online casino and poker gaming in late 2017, proponents of online gaming hoped the approval would spur other states to do so. It was not until March 2019 that another state joined the small list of those who offer online gaming. West Virginia approved online gaming on March 28th, and many are wondering when will the new industry begin. Will the approval spur other states to get in on the action?

Current Projections

Estimates have put West Virginia online casino gaming and poker for the state at generating around $11 million in revenues for the first year. That number is expected to increase to around $30 million by the 5th year of operations. For now, it seems that while the projections are promising, we have no idea when the industry will get started and what sites will be on offer.

According to a report by WV Metro News, John Myers, the state’s Lottery Director, is looking at February 2021 to begin. that is almost two years away. So, what’s the hold up? Delegate Shawn Fluharty would like to see a quicker rollout to be able to see the state benefit from revenues as quickly as they can. Fluharty has anticipated a much closer launch date of this year.

If you look at Pennsylvania, the last state to legalize the option, it has already taken over a year and they are still not offering services. It was announced this week that July 15th will be the week in which gaming will go online via casinos that are ready to launch by that time. Looking at that date, it will have taken the industry around 22 months to launch.

Proceeding With Caution

It does seem that West Virginia is more leery about starting services. However, an issue with online sports betting services may have them taking a longer look before offering online casino gaming. A few weeks ago, Delaware North saw two properties lose land-based sports betting services as well as online sports betting.

The shutdown was due to a dispute between their supplier Miomni and a third party vendor. The operations have been shut down for weeks now and Delaware North has requested to end their partnership with Miomni.

Regulators will most likely be taking a hard look at all involved in the upcoming industry. They do not want to see similar issues and lose out on revenues after just getting started. There will need to be many assurances made that this type of incident will not happen again when it comes to online casino and poker gaming.

No details have been provided as to who will offer services and what partners will be in the mix. It wouldn’t be surprising to start seeing deals announced as the state moves closer to launch. Hopefully we will see the state join the fray sooner rather than later. Only time will tell exactly when the new industry will launch and what they will be offering!

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.