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Hacksaw Gaming Gets a Provisional West Virginia Licence – WhatDoes This Mean?

While more than 30 US states have moved to legalize sports betting since the PAPSA legislation was struck down in May 2018, only a select few have done the same in the case of online casino gambling. More specifically, just six US states have made online casino gambling available to their citizens, with West Virginia one of the latest to follow this path on March 27th, 2019.

This market hit the news more recently too, after leading mobile-first games provider Hacksaw Gaming was awarded a provisional license to operate in West Virginia.

But why is this important, and what does it mean for the state of West Virginia? Let’s find out!

A Glimpse at the West Virginia iGaming Market

Having officially legalized online casino gaming and sports betting at the end of March, 2019, the market launched in earnest on July 15th the following year.

What’s more, further legislation is pending for the provision of online poker in the state, while there are now a number of high-profile and market leading online casinos in WV for players to choose from.  These include each of the state’s five existing brick-and-mortar casinos (who each applied for a license in 2020), who are able to operate three different skins for the purposes of iGaming and sports betting.

Other entrants have also joined the marketplace in the last two years or more, creating a competitive space that’s mutually beneficial for both customers and brands alike.

The Emergence of Hacksaw Gaming in the US

By being awarded a provisional license to provide games and content to casino brands in WV, Hacksaw Gaming made its first entry into the burgeoning US marketplace.

This news was announced earlier last week, while it’s significant in that it showcases the gaming brand’s desire to capitalize on recent growth stateside.

What’s more, Hacksaw Gaming plans to go live in the US and West Virginian marketplaces at some point during the first quarter of 2023, having initially facilitated a deal and secured a license via its commercial deal with Light & Wonder.

According to Christine Bordeaux, who’s the SVP of compliance at North America Hacksaw, expanding into the US market is a long-term objective and part of a much broader (and ambitious) growth strategy, and one that will leverage WV to access other states such as New Jersey and Delaware.

“Being granted this license is testimony to the quality of our games portfolio and shows just how robust and engaging our content is,” she said at the time of the announcement.

There’s certainly truth to this, and being awarded a coveted and relatively scarce license in West Virginia is evidence of the brand’s reputation and the quality of content that it provides within the iGaming space.

It also highlights the scale of the brand’s recent expansion across the globe, with Hacksaw Gaming having recently been licensed in Romania, the Isle of Man, and even Ontario in Canada.

Of course, it should be noted that West Virginia is a highly attractive market for developers such as Hacksaw Gaming, with operators in the state recently reporting 60% GGY growth last month when compared to October 2021.

This new partnership also creates an obvious win-win scenario for both Hacksaw and West Virginian gaming operators, with the latter able to improve and diversify their games’ libraries considerably while potentially offering brand new verticals to their customers.

The Bottom Line – What Does This Mean for All Parties?

Certainly, Hacksaw Gaming are looking to time their entry into the US market to perfection, as a number of states move to legalize iGaming verticals and tax these to create much needed public funds.

While some may question this move due to a negative macroeconomic climate and rampant wholesale inflation (and the impact that this has continued to have on consumer spending), this metric appears to have peaked with a much brighter outlook projected for 2023.

As a result, demand for online gambling verticals in WV should soar through 2023, with Hacksaw Gaming poised to capitalize this as they continue their aggressive, global expansion.

As for market leading West Virginia casinos like BetMGM, they’ll be able to benefit from an even larger selection of games and verticals. This will translate into a superior experience for players and customers, while potentially affording some betting brands a competitive edge over their rivals.

Being the first US state to grant Hacksaw Gaming a license also represents a huge scalp for West Virginia, with the studio having won SlotCatalog’s coveted ‘Outperforming Game Studio of the Year’ award at the end of 2021.

This honored a developer that has seen their SlotCatalog slot rank rise the most over the course of the last 12 months, with Hacksaw Gaming having developed a penchant for creating cutting edge slots in recent times.