West Virginia is yet another state to legalize online gambling. WV state legislature passed HB 2934 bill and it became the law back in March.
The bill allows five existing casinos to apply for a license to launch online gambling, including poker. However, it might take until 2022 before West Virginia online poker comes to existence.
West Virginia Online Poker is Legal, but when does it Become Reality?
West Virginia House and Senate voted for the bill legalizing WV online poker on March 8. WV laws give the governor 15 days to veto a bill passed by the state legislature. If he does nothing, such a bill becomes a law. And this is what happened with HB 2934.
The bill gives the West Virginia Lottery Commission time until June 2020 to prepare and adopt detailed regulations for the online gambling industry. However, the head of the Lottery, John Meyers, in an interview with local media Metro News, said there is a chance that online gambling in WV could be launched by February 2020.
So as of now, despite the law being on the books, there are no live West Virginia online poker operators.
West Virginia Online Sports Betting Relaunch
One thing that made West Virginia Lottery Commission hold their horses on rushing with the detailed regulations on online gambling were the problems with sports betting online. An issue with Miomni, a software provider for online gambling and sportsbooks, led to quite a crash, just before the March Madness. BetLucky app ceased operating, and for a while, it was not clear if or when online sports betting will be available again in WV.
All this happened because Miomni had a dispute with their technology provider. However, the Fanduel and Draftkings Sportsbook’s recent launch gives hope for more operators to follow.
For the speedy launch of West Virginia online poker, the sports betting hiccup didn’t bode well. However, West Virginia online sports betting went live again in late 2019, with several sportsbooks making their debut. Online casinos are still not operating, which means that WV online poker will also have to wait a while longer.
West Virginia Poker Rooms
There are five casinos in West Virginia. Four of them fall into the category of racinos. This is where you will find West Virginia poker rooms. Also, each one of them is entitled, according to the new law, to apply for a license to run West Virginia online poker and other online forms of gambling. While waiting for the WV online poker to materialize beyond the law on the books, you can enjoy WV poker rooms in the following casinos:
- Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races (in Charles Town)
- Mardi Gras Casino and Resort (in Nitro)
- Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort (in Chester)
- Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack (in Wheeling)
- The Casino Club at the Greenbrier (in Greenbrier)
At the Casino Club at the Greenbrier, there are two poker table tables with Texas Hold’em. It’s no ordinary casino, but an impressive, full of history, beautiful five-star resort, surrounded by nature. Interestingly, at the site, there is an old bunker built for members of Congress to take refuge in case of a massive catastrophe. Now decommissioned, it’s a tourist attraction.
If you are looking for more serious poker offers, Mardi Gras Casino and Resort in Nitro are your choices. Among WV poker rooms, this one stands out by a variety of choices for players. At Mardi Gras Casino you enjoy Texas Hold’em – limit or no limit, Pot Limit Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, 7-Card Stud, and Bad Beat Jackpots.
Mountaineer Casino, on the other hand, offers poker games around the clock. Similarly, at Wheeling Island, you can too play poker nearly 24 hours a day. There are nine poker tables and your regular variety of games, including Texas Hold’em, Seven Card Stud, and Omaha.
At the Hollywood Casino, again 24/7, you can play poker at 16 tables. There, you will enjoy daily promotions and tournaments, with the detailed schedule available at the casino’s website.
The Future of West Virginia Online Poker
There are many hopes surrounding the launch of West Virginia online poker. But there are also doubts and fears. WV is a relatively small state, and its online poker players could enjoy interstate players pool, similarly to the one shared by NJ, NV, and DE. This option has been put under the question mark by the DOJ’s new interpretation of the Wire Act. This old piece of legislation banned interstate sports bets.
However, in January 2019 the Department of Justice concluded that the Wire Act applies to all other forms of gambling, including poker. There are many good arguments against this interpretation. We have to wait and see for the final word on this issue.
In the meantime, there are plenty of games available at the West Virginia poker rooms, accompanied by beautiful scenery, fine food, and other gambling entertainment, such as slots, sportsbooks, and race tracks.