On Wednesday, DraftKings made West Virginia the fourth state to have legal online and mobile casino gambling. In a press release on July 15, DraftKings announced the launch of their new mobile app, detailing what devices will be able to access the app, as well as what casino games will be offered. While the legislation for mobile and online casinos was signed back in 2019, residents have been forced to wait years for the official launch. The timing could not have been better, as casinos throughout West Virginia and the country have been forced to shut down due to fears surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. DraftKings Casino app now opens the door for other companies to launch their own mobile casino products.
Gambling in West Virginia
Residents in West Virginia have enjoyed a number of gambling options throughout the state. West Virginia law allows for horse racing and off-track betting, video lottery terminals, as well as brick and mortar casinos. While these options have been available the state for a number of years, the push for modern gambling options has been looming on the horizon for some time. Most recently, West Virginia introduced online and mobile sports betting. The need for additional 21st century gambling options has become a more glaring issue now that all gambling facilities throughout the state have been forced to close due to safety protocols related to stopping the spread of coronavirus.
The introduction of online casinos will certainly come as a welcome addition, as it presents an immediate solution for residents who are looking to get back to enjoying the types of gambling that they have had access to for years. Governor Jim Justice signed the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act back in March of 2019, but the global pandemic appears to have been the final push that the state needed to finally launch the highly anticipated online casino. The bill that was signed by Justice allows the state’s five brick and mortar casinos to offer online poker and casino products, as long as they hold a valid license.
Details of the DraftKings Launch
DraftKings has already been operating online sports betting in the state of West Virginia, which has made the introduction of its new online casino products a logical next step. Part of this transition has been made possible through DraftKings’ partnership with Penn National Gaming’s Hollywood Casino at Charlestown Races. The partnership with the properly licensed casino has spawned the opportunity to seamlessly introduce DraftKings’ casino app. Much like its sports betting app, DraftKings online casino app has launched for both iOS and Android devices.
The launch of DraftKings online casino makes West Virginia the fourth state to offer online casino gambling. DraftKings already has experience operation online casinos in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The new DraftKings Casino app will include table games, popular slot machine games, blackjack, roulette, three card poker, and keno. These initial offerings are certainly appealing to residents, who have been starved of gambling options for the nearly five months. Over time, the app is expected to modify its offerings based on players interests. There has also been speculation about whether or not DraftKings will add live dealers to their app in the future, as they have already done so in New Jersey.
Future West Virginia Online Casinos
Now that DraftKings has paved the way for online casinos in the state, officials expect other major brands to follow in their footsteps. DraftKings’ most prominent competitor, FanDuel, already offers online and mobile sports betting in the state through their partnership with West Virginia’s Greenbrier Resort. The next logical step would be for FanDuel to launch their mobile casino, which they already offer in Pennsylvania.
It took two years for West Virginia to make the most of the legalization of online casinos, but the path forward looks promising, as many residents have been stuck at home with little to gamble on due to widespread shutdowns due to the pandemic. Now it appears that even more online and mobile casinos could be introduced in the near future, if not before the end of the year.