- West Virginia has become the fourth state in the US, where online casinos are legal and regulated.
- DraftKings West Virginia Casino has been online since Wednesday, July 15, 2020.
- West Virginia joins Pennsylvania and New Jersey as a state where DraftKings runs its online gambling operation.
For the first time in a while, the COVID-19 pandemic is not the central topic in the casino industry. Instead, the gaming news last week was dominated by the launch of WV DraftKings Online Casino, which marked a new era in the gaming business of the Mountain State – West Virginia has become the fourth state where online casino gambling is legal.
West Virginia Legalizes Online Gambling
Delaware was the first state to make online casino gambling legal. It happened back in 2012. Just a year later, New Jersey followed the same path. Fast-forward four years and Pennsylvania becomes another state where online gaming is legal.
In 2019, West Virginia lawmakers decided to do the same, legalizing internet casinos within the territory. However, the Mountain State had no online casinos until last Wednesday, the reason being that getting the WV online gaming license is not easy.
In order to become eligible for the license, an online casino operator needs to team up with one of the five licensed land-based casinos, as well as fulfill many other conditions.
The four licensed retail casinos located within the state borders of West Virginia are the following:
- The Casino Club at The Greenbrier
- Mardi Gras Casino and Resort
- Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort
- Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack
- Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
Hollywood Casino is the one that’s teamed up with DraftKings in order to launch the first online gambling platform in the state.
West Virginia DraftKings Casino Is Online
DraftKings is best known as a DFS (daily fantasy sports) platform, as that’s what it’s been this company’s main product since its launch in 2012.
When PASPA, the federal sports betting ban got annulled in 2018, the company decided to get on the bandwagon, applying for sportsbook licenses in several online betting-friendly states.
Most recently, DraftKings realized the potential of the US online casino industry. In May, DraftKings launched its online casino in Pennsylvania, following by a launch of its standalone casino app in New Jersey in June. Finally, on Wednesday, July 15, DraftKings’ West Virginia gambling platform went online.
No Online Slots in West Virginia DraftKings Casino
It’s been up for a couple of days, allowing West Virginia gaming fans to play several types of casino games using their computers or their smartphones (iOS and Android). The players can stake between $1 and $5,000 on online casino games such as roulette, blackjack, baccarat, and so on.
At the moment, online slots aren’t in the offer. The reason for this is that these sorts of games take longer to get approval. It’s pretty much the same story when it comes to live-dealer games.
Judging by the experiences from New Jersey and Pennsylvania, slot lovers will not have to wait too long before these games are included in the DraftKings Casino game library. They should be there in a few weeks’ time.
Other US States to Follow West Virginia’s Example?
Online casino gaming has proved to be a very profitable business. It’s not profitable only for the casino operators, but the states as well, which are getting their share of the profits through the gambling tax.
During the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, online casinos recorded incredible revenue figures. For instance, online slot games in Pennsylvania brought in about $38 million, which is more than ever recorded before.
Slot machines in land-based casinos in coronavirus-harried Las Vegas probably aren’t going to get anywhere near that figure. The same goes for Atlantic City and all the other places in the US that rely on the gaming industry.
Knowing all this, it’s not too crazy to assume that various states are thinking about changing their online gambling laws. More than half of the US states have at least one either commercial or tribal land-based casino within the state borders. On the other hand, only four states allow online gambling.
And it’s been like this only since Wednesday when West Virginia saw the launch of its first internet casino. It would be strange if this number didn’t start rising in the foreseeable future.