PokerStars Interested To Launch Online Poker Operations in West Virginia
- PokerStars will “review” its options in West Virginia after the state joined MSIGA
- The operator could be eyeing to expand to the Mountain State, creating a three-state network
- PokerStars is also closely monitoring shared liquidity developments in Pennsylvania
Following news of West Virginia joining the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA), PokerStars has indicated it may consider launching real money online poker in the state to further strengthen its US network.
PokerStars Could Expand to West Virginia
West Virginia this week formally became part of MSIGA, becoming the fifth member of the interstate poker compact. The latest development was welcomed by PokerStars, with a spokesperson from the company saying the online poker giant will “review” its options there.
PokerStars currently runs a two-state online poker network comprised of New Jersey and Michigan. The operator decided to merge its player pools in both states in January 2023 after Michigan joined MSIGA. Since then, PokerStars has enjoyed considerable growth, claiming the top spot in NJ where it had lagged behind its rivals for several years.
The online poker operator will likely look to build on that success by expanding to West Virginia, ultimately creating a three-state network. With its current NJ-MI network, PokerStars covers around 19.4 million people. That number would grow to roughly 21.2 million if the Mountain State is added to the equation.
PokerStars would still need to comply with a number of requirements before it can launch its site in the state. Under West Virginia’s gambling laws, an iGaming operator must partner with a land-based casino so it can offer its services to local players.
Each of West Virginia’s five land-based casinos can have three iGaming skins. While PokerStars’ sister company FanDuel is already active in the state through a partnership with the Greenbrier Resort, it cannot use the same partnership to launch online poker. Two other firms are partnering with Greenbrier – BetMGM and Golden Nugget.
That means PokerStars will have to find another land-based casino partner and that won’t be a problem as it can very well secure a deal with any of these casinos: Mountaineer, Wheeling Island, and Mardi Gras.
PokerStars Keeping a Close Watch on Pennsylvania
With the MSIGA now having five members, the total number of people covered by the compact has gone up to around 25.3 million, an increase of 7.7% from 23.5 million. That will grow further if Pennsylvania jumps aboard, which has a population of nearly 13 million.
PokerStars will undoubtedly take advantage of the opportunity by also adding the Keystone State to its network.