West Virginia Joins Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement, Expands Online Poker Pool
West Virginia has officially joined the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA), a collaborative effort between states to share online poker player pools. With the addition of West Virginia, the participating states now include Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, and Michigan.
Managed by the Multi-State Internet Gaming Association, MSIGA allows internet poker players in the Mountain State to participate in interactive tables with players from other participating states. This move is welcomed by West Virginia Lottery Director John Myers, who expressed his pleasure at the opportunity for West Virginia iGaming providers to offer multi-state poker, which will greatly increase the potential pool of participants and the potential for bigger winnings for players.
The sharing of poker pools online has been deemed critical in states where iGaming is allowed. Without such collaboration, poker players often complain about a lack of tables to play in. By pooling players across state lines, the field is significantly larger and can accommodate players looking for online games at any time.
MSIGA was established through legislation passed in Nevada and Delaware in 2013, which allowed for legal player liquidity sharing between the two states. The legislation was carefully crafted to comply with the Federal Wire Act, which prohibits the interstate transmission of wire communications for betting or wagering purposes. Nevada and Delaware used a Wire Act exclusion to allow for the interstate transmission of betting communications, paving the way for interstate poker pooling in 2014.
West Virginia authorized iGaming, including online slots, table games, and poker, in 2019. Governor Jim Justice allowed the measure to become law, further expanding the state’s gaming offerings. Justice, who made his fortune in the coal and agriculture industries, is known for rescuing the bankrupt Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs in 2009 and convincing county voters to pass a local referendum allowing casino gambling at the hotel. The Casino Club at The Greenbrier opened in 2010 as a result of his efforts.