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888 Poker Eyes West Virginia Expansion

Written By: Maya Michaels | May 24, 2021 | Posted In Poker News

In a recent interview with Poker Industry PRO, Senior VP for 888poker Yaniv Sherman revealed 888 poker’s future expansion plans in the US market. The company wants to go beyond PA and MI.

In particular, the small state of West Virginia, which regulated online poker two years ago, but has so far failed to interest a single licensed operator, is very much in 888’s future, with Sherman saying “we’ll launch there at some point in time.”

When asked to look into his crystal ball at the future of 888poker in the US after PA and MI, Sherman looked a little further ahead and farther afield.

He also pointed to Indiana and Illinois as “two states that seem to be a bit more likely” but added that any state which currently has sports is a strong candidate for future poker expansion.

Though, when asked about a timeline for West Virginia, Sherman could not give a specific date.

“The short answer is, I don’t know at this point. It’s a matter of when, rather than if. I think of West Virginia, they’re out there, we start rolling out 888poker, we’ll launch there at some point in time because it doesn’t make sense not to.”

West Virginia is an interesting case in the US market. It was the fifth US state to pass legislation making online poker legal, in April of 2019, meaning online poker has been legal there for more than two years. But the lack of interest is most probably a result of the size of the market. While states like Michigan and Pennsylvania are big enough to sustain a stand-alone market, WV is significantly smaller, coming in at fewer than two million people in total.

That makes a state like West Virginia more likely as part of a multi-state network than as a stand-alone poker room. With 888poker’s existing multi-state network linking Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware, the operator has always had an eye to shared liquidity across state lines.

The WV comments point to early expansion of that network beyond the existing US poker markets as soon as the Wire Act situation is fully resolved and the regulator signs the MSIGA.

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