West Virginia Online Poker Market Set To Expand
- West Virginia has become the fifth member of MSIGA
- West Virginia’s MSIGA membership could pave the way for the launch of major online poker rooms in the state
- NJ regulators helped the state become part of the compact
West Virginia is now a member of the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA). The move is expected to open plenty of opportunities for the Mountain State which has yet to attract any online poker site since it legalized the game in 2019.
West Virginia Could Attract Major Online Poker Sites
At the moment, not a single operator is offering real money online poker in West Virginia but that could change soon given the massive benefits that they can get from the state’s MSIGA membership.
With the state now a member of the compact, the West Virginia Lottery Commission (WVLC) will allow online poker sites licensed in the state to merge local players with those located in any of the four other member-states – New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, and Michigan.
West Virginia is currently home to a total of nine operators. Three of them – PokerStars, BetMGM, and WSOP – offer online poker but have yet to launch their respective sites in the state. These operators already run US online poker rooms in at least two states that are part of the MSIGA. They could very well expand their online poker services to West Virginia given the latest developments.
If that happens, the PokerStars US network would cover three states – New Jersey, Michigan, and West Virginia. BetMGM has yet to connect its player pools in Michigan and New Jersey but is expected to do so in the future. With the addition of West Virginia, the operator could form a three-state network.
WSOP has yet to add Michigan to its existing network covering New Jersey and Nevada, but once it launches in West Virginia and ultimately decides to merge its player pools across the US, it will run the biggest online poker network in the country.
A fourth operator, Rush Street Interactive (RSI), may also launch online poker in West Virginia via Run It Once (RIO), an online poker platform founded by Phil Galfond. RIO is expected to make its US debut in early 2024 based on earlier statements from RSI. RIO could launch in New Jersey, Delaware, and West Virginia, creating a three-state online poker network.
New Jersey Helped West Virginia with MSIGA Membership
West Virginia is now a member of MSIGA, and that was made possible through the help of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE).
WVLC Assistant Director Randy Burnside has confirmed that NJDGE director David Rebuck played a key role in the state’s MSIGA membership, though he did not provide further details about what the NJ authorities did to help make that happen.