US Poker Site in West Virginia? State Proposes Legalization

For the third consecutive year, a bill proposing to bring legal West Virginia poker sites and casino gaming has been filed in West Virginia.

Democratic Rep. Shawn Fluharty introduced House Bill 2178 to legalize West Virginia poker sites and online casino games in the state. Fluharty’s name may be familiar to anyone hoping for online poker in West Virginia as he also introduced a failed bill last year with the same goal.

Who Can Apply to run a US Poker site in West Virginia?

Under HB 2178 the five brick and mortar casinos in the state would be able to open online sites that feature poker and casino games. A license would cost $50,000 and all gross gaming revenue would be taxed at 14 per cent.

The five casinos in West Virginia that could operate an online poker or online casino site under the bill include:

Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort
The Casino Club at the Greenbrier
Mardi Gras Casino and Resort
Wheeling Island Hotel.

The application process would officially begin 90 days after the passing of legislation.

Despite previous failed attempts at legalizing online poker, this time could be different after a West Virginia allowed sports betting to be legalized in the state last year. Sports betting fell under the purvey of the state Lottery Commission, which would also oversee online poker and casino games if the legislation passes.

HB 2178 also had provisions in it allowing shared player liquidity between states and the outlawing of anyone using bots on the online sites. The shared liquidity provision would allow West Virginia to set up future compacts to share players with other states that have legalized online poker such as Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware.

What are the next steps for West Virginia online poker?

The next step for the bill is to be referred to committee. It will then be reviewed and reported on to either the House of Assembly or State Senate. 

If the House or Senate passes the legislation the process will be repeated by the other legislative body. If the bill can somehow get through the House and the Senate it would still need approval and sign off from West Virginia Governor Jim Justice.

Meantime, check out US poker site reviews for the best current choices for online players.