Just recently, it was announced that the state of West Virginia had become the fifth member of the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA), allowing operators to join their US online poker player pools across state borders.
However, despite online poker being regulated by the Interactive Wagering Act of 2019 and the emergency regulations for casino gaming of 2020, no operators have launched an online poker platform in West Virginia as of yet.
Now that the state has joined the MSIGA, there is hope that 2024 could be the year when first operators launch in WV, with the likes of BetMGM WSOP, PokerStars, and Run It Once Poker all on the list of potential candidates.
We take a look at these most likely operators to launch an online poker platform in WV in 2024 and the reasons they might do so in 2024.
BetMGM Poker First to Launch?
Out of all the operators who have active online poker platforms in US markets, BetMGM Poker appears to be the most likely to launch in West Virginia in early 2024, thanks to the fact the operator already runs an online casino in the state in partnership with Greenbrier Resort.
With the branding already active and familiar to WV players, and the gaming license in place, it would not take much for BetMGM to push an online poker product into the market as well.
With the operator already doing well in other states, MSIGA would allow BetMGM Poker to add WV players to the existing player pools of other states and potentially create an interstate poker platform, although this is still very much a work in progress when it comes to BetMGM in particular.
PokerStars and WSOP with Most to Gain
PokerStars and WSOP are the only two operators who have made good use of MSIGA to date, with both operators launching multi-state poker networks and PokerStars in particular doing very well following its New Jersey/Michigan merger.
Both brands will have some work cut out for them before they can launch in WV, but both have a chance to obtain a license through partnership with a local live gaming operator, and there are no significant hurdles in place that would prevent the launch.
Should either of these operators start operating in WV in 2024, they could add the state to their existing interstate player pools, boost their tournament and cash game traffic, and make full use of the provisions of MSIGA as they prepare for bigger states like New York or California to join the compact in the coming years.
Rush Street Interactive Entering the Market?
In 2022, gaming giant Rush Street Interactive (RSI) obtained the Run It Once poker platform from poker pro Phil Galfond with the idea of launching the product in both European and US markets.
Now, there is speculation that RSI could be launching this very product in 2024 and West Virginia could be one of the markets where the updated Run It Once platform comes to life in the US.
While there is no telling when exactly this might happen, it seems that RSI has big plans for the state and it would not be surprising to see the new product available for play ahead of some of the competitors.