March 9 was a day of celebration for the WV online casino industry. This is when the pen touch paper on the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act. Yet, no one would have been happier than Delegate Shawn Fluharty to see bill HB.2934 becoming law. Maybe it’s thanks to Governor Justice’s lack of action that West Virginia Online Casinos are a reality today. Yet, all this time, the Delegates from the 3rd district pushed for West Virginia Online Casinos to exist.
According to sources, Delegate Fluharty watched how NJ’s Casino industry evolved for years. And what he especially appreciated was how brick-and-mortar casinos were seamlessly able to co-exist and even supplement each other. But more importantly, how a part of the profits from West Virginia Online Casinos could help the Mountain state’s pensioners to have an easier life when retiring.
A time-lapse of West Virginia Online Casinos
Like all states who hoped to beef up their income. WV governor and stakeholders too had to find creative ways to adapt the wording of the wire act. And, of course, the 1931 Code of West Virginia was a problem too. But it’s when officials confirmed that the wire act affected sportsbooks predominantly that West Virginia Online Casinos became a real possibility. What’s more, before an Online casino WV, could exist. The Supreme Court would first need to lift the PASPA band. An official also would need to draft the Sports Lottery Wagering Act. With that said, for now, let’s focus on the key actors and bills that legalize West Virginia Casinos Online. After all, isn’t it why you are here to learn about that?
Bills that changed the West Virginia Online Casinos landscape
Because the laws in WV are different, the process of putting bill HB.2934 in effect is also unique. Bill HB.2934 may have passed on March 9. But it’s because it was not vetoed or went “without any action” that it became law 15 days later. But more importantly, it became effective 90 days later.
Yet, the rise of West Virginia Online Casinos didn’t go without a hitch. Ask Fluharty. In 2017, he proposed HB 3067. This bill would legalize interactive gaming. But that didn’t work. Then he suggested HB 2178. It’s this bill that presented the most changes to the Code of West Virginia. This rejected bill also proposed a licensing structure for the 5 land-based casinos of WV. The Casino Club, Wheeling Island, Hollywood Casino, Mardi Gras Casino, and Mountaineer Casino led the industry.
The rise of West Virginia Online Casinos
Although there were several attempts at legalizing West Virginia Online Casinos, it’s only when the West Virginia Lottery Commission (WVLC) was established as the official authority to regulate WV online casino license holders that the industry became a possibility.
What’s more, The Mountain State also opted first to legalize sports betting. The legislative effort started in March 2018, and in May, sportsbook wagering was finally legalized. Then, 1 year later, the 5 established gambling venues began the licensing process. And this to get the rights to operate a WV online casino. To get an interactive gambling license desiring online casino WV, would need to pay 100k every 5 years to keep their license active. 100k for platform and service management licenses. And 10k for each extra supplier license. That’s on top of the 250k each Online casino WV would need to fork by July 1, to go live.
West Virginia Online Casinos – trendsetters for daily fantasy sports and online sports wager
It’s Penn National that was first to act and obtained their betting license. And so, Hollywood Casino became a trailblazer for the state. Not long after, the operator took its first online wager on August 18. Simultaneously, 3 other online sportsbooks popped up.
West Virginia Online Casinos laws don’t state how many sportsbook skins or white labels an operator can have. So the launch of these online daily fantasy sports and online sports wager sites was crucial. And it’s also where we saw that established gambling halls and race tracks started making new friends like The Greenbrier with Flutter Entertainment FanDuel. In addition, Hollywood with William Hill and Draftkings and Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras opted to team up with Miomni to launch their online vertical. Mountaineer, but opted to keep things simple. It bet on only 1 strong partner William Hill US (now Caesar’s), to diversify its offering.
The challenge to the rise of WV Online Casinos
Often accused of “doubling down on the past.” And being too conservative to see opportunities. The WVLC still has much to learn for West Virginia Online Casinos to grow, some say. It was house Delegate Shawn Fluharty that shine the spotlight on the watchdog. He qualified some of their reasoning as a “costly mistake” for delaying the launch of West Virginia Online Casinos while a stay-at-home order was recommended last year. And other states saw their online casino hit all-time highs because they were no games to bet on.
Yet, WV is still described by many as a rural state where small businesses have taken quite a hit during the global world pandemic. But for some, including senator Mike Maroney the laws need revision for West Virginia Online Casinos to thrive and help other sectors. But the added casino skins idea didn’t work last March 2021.
West Virginia Online Casinos cannot make friends with who they want
Sure West Virginia Online Casinos cannot make friends with who they want, as Maroney pointed out. But not all is bad until the laws change as he desires. In fact, as a casino player, you’ll love to know that the adaptation of land-based slot hits is smooth for online game of chance providers to navigate, as we understand. So it’s no wonder why West Virginia Online Casinos offer as many games as they do.
But, one would be wise to keep in mind that the wire act is still valid, although West Virginia Online Casinos exist today. For example, a live casino giant like Evolution would first need to open up a studio in the Mountain state. To offer its games and of course cater to its small population. So, it might not be cost-effective for them. At least not now, but who knows later.
What games can you play in WV?
As a blackjack player, the chances are you’re more interested in knowing that online table games are legal in West Virginia Online Casinos. This means that you’ll have no problem pulling a virtual chair at blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and or casino hold ’em tables. The benefit of playing these games is that there’s always a seat available because they’re RNG-driven ones, so not live dealer tables.
When writing this piece about West Virginia gambling, we counted 12 different progressive jackpot slots, including the legendary Melon Madness Deluxe, Mega Bars, and All You Can Spin Sushi. The jackpot collection also boasts a few NetEnt hits. But ironically (because the holding company bought many more brands recently), Red Tiger Gaming and Big Time Gaming games aren’t available yet. So who knows, maybe Evolution is looking for advice to bring the rest of its collection into West Virginia Casinos. Will it work?
Which online games are the best to play in WV?
According to operators such as BetMGM, the leading Blackjack game to play is Premium Blackjack Pro in WV. And when it comes to progressive slot games as of today (summer 2021), it’s MGM Grand Millions’ that has dished out the largest jackpot. However, if you’d ask the slot specialist of blackjack.me, they’d undeniably put games such as Fruit Shop Megaways, Aloha!, Starburst, Gonzo’s Quest, Cash Noire, and Twin Spin Megaways at the top of their list.
Others would also tell you that NetEnt’s Dead or Alive while, boasting only 9-paylines, can deliver rushes as no other slots can. So, if you’re looking for inspiration, consider giving these games a try. Remember that most operators will let you earn comps if you play online slot games. So, even if they’re no promotions, you can take advantage as you spin. You’ll always win by signing up for an operator’s loyalty program.
Do you have to pay tax on your online winnings in West Virginia?
Sure the online gambling tax in WV is not the highest for operators. They only need to give 15% of their gross gaming income to the WV’s Interactive Gaming Fund. But it’s worth noting that gambling taxes are also favorable to big winners since the tier ranges from 2% to 5.75%. In other words, if you win $3,000 or less, the taxman will want 2% of your winnings. Anything between 3k and 5k it’s 3% you’ll need to pay. Win enough to go on holiday, and you’ll need to deduct 5% of your winnings under 17k. Lastly, any winnings over $17,0001 will see you pay 5.75% into the state’s tax chests. For more information, don’t hesitate to ask an official when you fill in your W-2G. And remember that the IRS will also want a slice of that cash. So, you might want to check their site too.