West Virginia, which legalised sports betting in 2018, is seeking again to legalise online casino and poker in the state with lawmakers introducing a new bill, HB2178.
Proposed by representatives Joe Canestraro and Shawn Fluharty – who was a strong advocate in the successful drive to see betting regulated in West Virginia – the bill seeks to give the state’s lottery commission regulatory control over the licensing of online gaming.
The bill, if passed, would result in a $50,000 licence fee and and a 14 per cent tax on gross gaming revenue.
The licences would be limited to applications from the operators of the state’s five existing land-based casino venues, specifically The Casino Club at the Greenbrier; Hollywood Casino (Charles Town Races); Mardi Gras Casino; Mountaineer Casino and the Wheeling Island Hotel.
West Virginia, with a population of just 1.8m, represents a smaller market than Nevada (£2.8m) but twice the size of Delaware. Nonetheless, the potentially broad online casino and (extant) online betting offer in West Virginia, could represent significant strategic as well as commercial value.
One of a number of operators gambling on West Virginia as the next state to regulate with online casino is GAN, which is expanding its on-property igaming offer in the state thanks to a deal with FanDuel.
New Jersey remains online gaming’s biggest legal market in the US although Pennsylvania will likely take that title once operations begin there following the recent approval of igaming in the state.