West Virginia plans to launch Online Casinos in 2020

West Virginia plans to launch Online Casinos in 2020

West Virginia players already have a lot of gambling options. These cover all the main ways to gamble, such as on horse races, sports games, casino games and lottery tickets. The ‘West Virginia Interactive Wagering Act’ – act of 2018, opened a path for WV online casino and online sports betting. This act allowed sportsbooks at the live casino venues, and for online gambling. Here, we cover complete information about the WV Online Casino.

WV Online Casino launch

Currently, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania allow online casino gaming. West Virginia is ready to join the list very soon. In WV, sports betting is already available online via websites and mobile apps.

Recently, officials in charge of WV’s lottery had discussions with fellow officials in Pennsylvania on how to regulate online casino gambling. In conclusion, they discovered that sports betting platforms could also provide online casino gaming. Lottery officials are preparing to draft initial regulations for the WV Online Casino launch in 2020.

John Myers, Director of WV lottery, said: “The initial build out of the iGaming system-they can almost take the new games, which will come in a suite. They can lay that right on top of a sports wagering-type of the platform.”  

Indeed, the launch would need less work-force and should roll-out fast comparing with the sports wagering. Today, mobile app-based sports betting has become popular. Hence, online casino gaming will also be available on the same platforms which offer sports betting. Therefore, players will take on online casino gaming in the same way as sports betting.

WV Online Casino – Gambling laws

West Virginia gambling has a long and rich history. The racetrack history goes back to 1931, whereas, legal bingo games and state lottery are introduced in the 1980s. Casinos are opened at racetracks in 1994, in which, table games are added in 2008.

WV Online Gambling Laws Act H 2934 became law in March 2018. On 27 March 2019, Gov. Jim Justice let the veto window pass. Hence, the WV Lottery Interactive Wagering Act automatically became law.  This permits the licensing of legal online casinos, poker rooms, and sports betting sites including live sports betting.

The licenses are available to the 5 existing brick and mortar casinos. Now, we can expect that the WV lottery commission will ready the licensing framework for applications by mid-2020. The live casinos will be given a single license each.

The casinos who have an interest in offering online casino gaming should pay a $250,000 application fee for a five-year license. Whereas, the renewal fee for the licenses will be $100,000.

According to HB 2934, mobile casinos will be able to offer table games, online poker, and video lottery(slots). The law gives the West Virginia Lottery Commission until July 1, 2020, to enact emergency regulations for online gaming. However, Myers expects initial rules to be in place before then. Therefore, the launch of online casinos would happen in 2020 right after the initial regulations are approved.

WV Online Casino – Expected Revenues

As the state law sets the tax rate for online casino gaming at 15% of the adjusted gross revenue. We can expect the total online casino revenue to be close to what sports betting generates. Not to mention, the state taxes sports betting at 10%.

Let us look at the sports betting figures or the year 2019. According to the state lottery, the sportsbooks have generated more than $12.3m in revenue, translates to $1.2m in taxesFanDuel and DraftKings mobile apps have a combined handle of $49.9m. This accounts for nearly 76% of all sports bets in the state since late Aug. In fact, DraftKings holds a 56.4 percent share of the West Virginia mobile sports betting market.

According to the above figures, we can expect more revenues from online casinos similar to that of online sports betting.

List of Live Casinos in West Virginia

There are currently 5 casinos in West Virginia. Whereas, 4 of which has racetracks (2 horse racing, 2 for greyhounds).

  • Hollywood Casino at Charlestown Races
  • Mardi Gras Casino and Resort
  • The Greenbrier
  • The Mountaineer
  • Wheeling Island Casino and Racetrack

WV Online Casino List

Initially, there will be 5 legal online casinos licensed in the Mountain State. One for each of the live casino venues. This could mean a lot of competition between the online casino brands to partner with the live venues. Currently, there is not a firm date to launch the first WV online casino. In fact, WV Lottery has until June 2020 to finalize regulations and then open the application process. Hence, we cannot confirm which WV online casino will be live until at least 2020.  

When the application process begins, all 5 WV casinos will likely to apply for an online license. In the meantime, with certain research, here is the list of online casinos to expect in WV.  

Hollywood Online Casino

Penn National owns the Hollywood Casino. It is located in Charles Town, WV. Hollywood Casino can probably have its pick of online casino partners. It already has a deal with DraftKings to offer sports betting operations. DraftKings, the Daily Fantasy Sports betting operator, also an online casino giant, will likely seek to launch its online casino in West Virginia. In addition, Penn National is working with IGT to bring online casino games to Hollywood Casino. This casino has the best chance to launch the first online casino in the Mountain State.

Mardi Gras Online Casino

It is located in the city of Nitro, WV. Delaware North, the owner of Mardi Gras Casino & Resort is currently looking for a new sports betting partner. It would make sense that they would also be looking for an online casino partner. DraftKings Online Casino and PokerStars Online Casino could be the top picks for Mardi Gras Casino.

Mountaineer Online Casino

The Mountaineer is known for being one of the busiest racetracks in the country. It is located in New Cumberland, WV. The Mountaineer Casino has a partnership with William Hill for its land-based sportsbook. While William Hill runs casino operations in Europe, it does not provide casino operations in the US. Therefore, BetStars might be a possible choice as it seeks entry into the Mountain State.  

The Greenbrier Online Casino

It is located in the White Sulphur Springs, WV. It already has a partnership with FanDuel sportsbook for its retail sports betting operation. Mobile sports betting and online casino gambling is just speculation at this stage. Hence, most likely the casino club at Greenbrier will try to opt Betfair as its online partner. However, Betfair might look for a partner that is less exclusive than the Greenbrier.

Wheeling Island Online Casino

It is located in the middle of the Ohio River, on Wheeling Island. Delaware North also owns Wheeling Island Casino & Racetrack. It is also one of the top contenders to launch an online casino in WV. Providing operations for two online casinos might be enticing enough to lure some other popular casino platforms to the state.

In addition to the above online casinos, here are some of the brands which could eventually come to the Mountain state:

Legal Online Casino games in WV

Table games were made legal in live casinos in WV in 2008. Eventually, poker, bingo, slots are also available. Similarly, all these casino games should be available when WV Online Casino sites go live. We can expect to see the following games:

Slots

Live Casinos in WV offers a ton of online slots. This is the biggest category of the casino games available in West Virginia. Similarly, online casino websites might offer the same number of games. The Slots will range from games that mimic mechanical 3-reel slots to online versions of multi-media games from the casino floor. Multi-million progressive jackpots are also available.

Table games

The table games include a wide-varieties of Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, Three Card Poker, and Baccarat.  With the software-based versions, you get many varieties of the most popular games. Indeed, blackjack and casino poker can have different side bets, rules, and novel gameplay. Whereas, only the most popular games have live dealers.

Live Dealer games

You can play live dealer games at many casinos these days. Casinos establish studios with live feeds. In other states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania, live dealer table games are already running. Blackjack, roulette, baccarat and casino poker are the most popular live dealer games.

Video Poker

Your favorite titles from casino bar tops can be found online. These include multi-hand games and ‘bonus poker’ variations with multipliers as well as standards like Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker, and Loose Deuces Wild.

Bingo and Novelty games

There are plenty of casino games online which don’t sit neatly in any category. Bingo and keno often have crazy and colorful themes. Dice games like Sic-Bo can be enjoyed. You can also try your hand at virtual racing games, or novelty titles like scratch cards.

FAQs

When does the online casinos' launch in West Virginia?

Currently, there is no information regarding the launch of online casinos on WV. West Virginia lottery has to finalize regulations and open the application process by June 2020. Therefore, we cannot confirm WV online casino launch date until at least mid of 2020.

Do you need to be a WV resident to place an online casino game?

No, but you must be physically located within West Virginia’s borders at the time of playing casino games. Similar to that of sports betting, as long as you are geo-located within the state, you should be able to play online casino games.

Is there an age requirement to gamble in WV?

You should be at least 21 years or more to gamble in West Virginia.

Is the lottery legal in West Virginia?

Yes. The West Virginia Lottery offers its own lottery games. Additionally, it sells tickets for the popular national lottery games, Powerball and Mega Millions. There is an online lottery app for checking winning tickets, but it is not possible to buy online lottery tickets at this time.

Is betting on horses in WV allowed?

Yes, just like any other kind of betting, betting on horses in West Virginia is legal. Mobile horse betting platforms, such as TVG, have served the state for years and will keep to do it. 4 out of 5 casinos in West Virginia has a racetrack (2 horse racing and 2 greyhound racing).