West Virginia could see online gaming, poker this summer

Posted on: May 07, 2020 13:23 PDT

Emergency rules for iGaming have just been presented for approval

West Virginia has been rushing to have everything ready for online gaming operations to run legally, and it seems to be coming sooner than expected. The West Virginia Lottery Commission (WVLC) has approved a set of emergency rules for iGaming, which have been planned this way to launch the activity before the date they were originally intended to run. According to WVLC Director John Myers, these emergency rules could see online gaming in the state going live this coming July.

Now that the WVLC approved the rules, they are in the hands of the Secretary of State for final approval, and he has up to 42 days to respond to the request once it has been filed. The state passed the bill that allows online gaming last year and regulators began working on the framework at that time. The fact that they use the concept of emergency rule basically means that these rules are a temporary measure. Since the bill was approved, the Lottery was requested to develop an emergency rule set before July so the launch could be expedited.

If the situation would have progressed at a normal pace, the rules would have been ready until July; therefore, online gaming would not have been expected until late this year or by 2021. However, the public demand for online gambling, coupled with the drop in tax revenue in the state, is putting pressure on the matter now that all land-based casinos are closed. Most states that run legal online gaming are reporting significant peaks in traffic as a result.

Once the Secretary of State approves the ruleset, it will be valid for the next 15 months. This means that the Lottery Commission will need to develop the permanent rule set before then.