Online poker could launch in West Virginia as early as late June
West Virginia Online Poker Sites running by the end of June?
West Virginia became the fifth state to allow online poker in the United States. Recently, a highly regarded gaming official states that online poker might be starting by next month.
Due to the emergency rules for online gaming, John Myers, director of the WVLC, is expecting a launch by the end of June 2020.
He stated: “Once approved, West Virginia casinos can begin offering [iGaming] under the emergency rules and minimum internal controls. Those rules will be good for 15 months until the permanent legislative rule is adopted by the legislature.”
The West Virginia Lottery Commission approved the emergency rules on April 29th and the state will have 42 days to decide on this issue.
If the Secretary of State approves the rules, online gaming might start with minimum internal controls. Because of the current situation, US poker sites could operate on these rules for 15 months. Afterward, the state would have to agree on permanent rules instead.
Temporary West Virginia iGaming Licenses
According to the emergency rules, companies will be able to operate up to three skins each. They will have to pay a $100,000 license fee and suppliers of technology or systems for online gaming need to pay a $10,000 fee.
The West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering act has been passed on March 29th,2020. Operators are required to pay a 15% gross revenue tax and the WVLC is also allowed to provide them with temporary licenses.
These licenses will last 270 days and the commission will fully review the operators after that time span to make a final decision regarding their suitability to maintain the license.
Why was the process sped up?
While one might think that the COVID-19 pandemic might have influenced the process, Myers stated that this is not the case. The authorities have already finalized the rules before the pandemic reached the state.
If the WVLC and Secretary of State agree on the rules, he expects US poker sites to go live before July 1st. While it is not yet certain which US poker room will go online, we expect some familiar names amongst them.
Besides online poker, the state will also be granting licenses for sports betting and casino games as well.
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