The West Virginia Lottery has considered joining the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement for a while, but it seems they are closer to making a decision. Michigan has also determined its desire to join the MSIGA but requires further development before it becomes an official member.
What is MSIGA?
The Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement was developed in 2014 as a way for online poker players to compete with competitors of another state. Currently, the states that are members of the MSIGA are Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey. Although Michigan has also signed the agreement, the state has not yet offered inter-state poker because it is waiting to fulfill requirements set by the state.
Operators Need to Make the Next Move
Poker Industry PRO reported that one of West Virginia Lottery’s officials stated they would be ready to join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement if one of its operators announced its desire to start offering multi-state online poker options.
David Bradley, Deputy Director for Security at the West Virginia Lottery, shared this: “Our director is definitely interested…We’ve had discussions here at the Lottery, and at the appropriate time, we will make an application to join the compact…If one of our operators came to us and said they wanted to offer multi-state poker, I’m sure we [would consider it].”
All five of the state’s casinos and racetracks can support three iGaming operations, some are already occupied by online sportsbooks and internet casino gaming. West Virginia has nine eligible operators that could inquire with the West Virginia Lottery about starting multi-state online poker.
Bradley expresses that these changes would not happen overnight: “We’re monitoring the situation. It’s kind of a wait-and-see game to see what’s out there. Right now, we could join and be part of the compact, but we wouldn’t be able to offer the game.”
“We’re in tune with it, we’re monitoring it, and we have the interest in it.”
West Virginia Poker Partnerships
BetRivers is run by the company Rush Street Interactive. Rush Street Interactive recently acquired the Run it Once poker room (valued at $5.8 million). The Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort has a partnership with BetRivers and Caesars. These partnerships have a lot of the potential to make the next step with the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement.
Additional West Virginia partnerships include:
- The Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races: Barstool, DraftKings, PointsBet
- Greenbrier Resort: FanDuel Sportsbook, BetMGM, Golden Nugget
Some of these companies already operate online poker in other states, so their expansion in West Virginia could be on the horizon.
States Not Read to Join Agreement
Although the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement has seen significant growth over the past nine years, some states are apprehensive about jumping in. Despite Pennsylvania’s success with online poker within the state, Penn operators are concerned with the shared player pool that comes along with multi-state online poker. The MSIGA assures operators that rake is collected within the state, so there could be other matters that are stopping Pennsylvania operators from entering the agreement.
In April 2022, Michigan was approved to join the MSIGA but has had little advancement. The timeline for when their membership will become official is unknown.
While West Virginia has expressed its desire to join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement, it is clear we won’t see any progress until its state operators make the first move.
Mac Daniel is a South Carolina-based freelance writer for PlayOnlineCasino and PlayOnlineSportsBetting. He has experience writing about a wide variety of topics, including healthcare, tourism, non-profit organizations, and most recently casino and sportsbetting news. To check out more of his work, visit: www.playonlinemichigan.com