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DraftKings launch heralds beginning of igaming in WV


Online casino launched in West Virginia yesterday (15 July) with DraftKings’ casino app going live, more than a year after legislation was passed by the state.

West Virginia becomes the third state in which Draftkings has launched its standalone casino product, following roll-outs in New Jersey in June and Pennsylvania earlier this week.

The Draftkings Casino app offers table games such as blackjack, roulette, three card poker and keno as well as slots, with games from suppliers including International Game Technology (IGT), Slingo and Scientific Games. Players can also access the Draftkings Casino product within the operator’s sportsbook app.

Online casino was legalized in West Virginia in March 2019, when HB2934, the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act passed into law despite not receiving the signature of Governor Jim Justice. However, emergency rules allowing operators to launch were not approved until earlier this year.

These rules are in place for 270 days, or 15 months, to give the state legislature time to devise permanent rules governing the market, or enshrine the temporary controls in law.

They were approved by the West Virginia Lottery Commission in May this year, then passed to the Secretary of State to be ratified, the final step before their implementation.

Under HB2934, operators will be taxed at 15% of gross revenue, while the Commission may also set out a percentage of revenue or monetary sum to be used for tax-free promotional credits for players.

All advertising – both direct and from third parties such as affiliates – must be approved by the Commission director before publication. 

Data on problem gamblers and self-exclusions must be gathered and reported to the Commission on a weekly basis, with actions taken by operators documented and reviewed.

The state ultimately opted to set out a long process for the implementation of the igaming legislation, having passed soon after sports betting began in the state, Commission director John Myers told iGB North America earlier this year.