Online Poker to West Virginia? Sign me up!
In case you missed it, West Virginia is in the early stages of considering whether to offer online gambling through the state lottery.
The prospect of online poker in West Virginia is huge for the simple fact that it serves as a jumping off point for several states, including my home state of Virginia.
Just a short drive of three hours and I could play online poker.
What's the big deal you ask? In about two years, there is a solid chance that New Jersey, Nevada, California, Delaware and maybe West Virginia could all be spreading online poker.
Factor in interstate compacts and by 2016 we might have a viable interstate network worth taking a day trip to grind.
Yes, I realize that 2016 is ambitious but in this case I'll be optimistic.
West Virginia is positioned to bring in players from Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland and I'm certain that players from NOVA will happily hop over state lines to play.
I also like the fact that the state Lottery is looking to legalize online gambling rather than the state legislature. While it is an expansion, it is an expansion of an already existing entity that will partner with state casinos.
If West Virginia decides to go the route of online gambling, I personally am not seeing a lot of problems with the Lottery getting a bill passed. However, I do see them taking their time to make sure they have the best system in place to benefit all interested stakeholders.
I also see the state going the route of Delaware and choosing a single-provider system. I wouldn't be shocked to see them choose 888 Poker like Delaware. I don't see them going with PokerStars or even entertaining that option.
Unless the Cherokee Indians decide to go online, West Virginia is going to be my best option for online poker in the near future. It will be interesting to see what transpires in October when the Lottery and casino officials meet. Hopefully we get a firm commitment that forces the state legislature to act.