Almost heaven, West Virginia... country roads, take me home to the place I belong. West Virginia, mountain mam, take me home, country roads. John Denver wrote a song about a man who left home a long time ago and finally found his way back home in a bittersweet song titled, "Country Roads, Take Me Home." Denver could have been singing about the return of online poker to the great state of West Virginia. Yes, for the first time since the darkest of darkest days when Black Friday hit on April 15, 2011, residents of West Virginia will be able to legally play online poker within state lines and from the confines of their own homes.
West Virginia joins the likes of Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. The five of them have some of the most sensible legislators in the country. They get the simple aspect that online poker is good for the entire world. It was foolish to even outlaw it in the first place, so let's legalize it and regulate it and everyone can have a great time.
The West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act passed the state house and state senate without any problems. The bill ended up on the Governor's desk. It was up to Governor Jim Justice (yes, that's his real name), to determine whether he'd veto it or let it slide by. Well, the deadline to veto passed by, which means... online poker is coming to West Virginia.
Cue up the John Denver and fire one up, because it's gonna be donk city in no time.
Online poker and casino gaming is now legal in West Virginia, but it will still be some time before there's stuff up and running. Rest assured, everyone will be working around the clock to make this happen. The new law will permit five land-based casinos to run online sites. For a fee of course, which is something like $350K to start including license fees.
Online gambling is already legal in West Virginia. They were up and running by the end of last year. That's a similar timeframe that pundits expect will take to get an online poker site fully functional.
The sportsbetting industry in West Virginia is experiencing growing pains, which was expected. The introduction of online poker and casino gaming will certainly provide local jobs. Before they know it, West Virginia will be savvy veterans in the igaming world.
Nevada and New Jersey were the first states to make the first move by legalizing online gambling and online poker. Delaware, the smallest state in the union, was next followed by Pennsylvania in late 2017. Michigan got close this year but fizzled out. California can't get their proverbial crap together, even though they got closer than ever before a couple years ago. Who knows what's going on over there because at this snail's pace, online poker might not arrive in California until 2030.
If you build it, they will come. Congrats to West Virginia for becoming the fifth state in America to legalize it. It's not so hard, y'all. It's the sensible thing to do.
So, who what's to move to Wheeling West Virginia and bust some mountain donks?