West Virginia is a promising state in terms of regulation of online casino and will soon follow in the footsteps of states that have already made online gambling a hugely popular past time in the state.. iGaming and online gambling is licenced by the West Virginia Lottery, who are responsible for issuing licences and ensuring that the industry is regulated within the state. The state of West Virginia does allow lotteries and charity gambling (bingo and raffles), brick-and-mortar casinos and tribal casinos, skill-based games like poker and Daily Fantasy games, horse racing and sports betting.
Online Casino and Gambling in West Virginia
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Is Online Gambling Legal in West Virginia?
Online gambling in West Virginia is newly-regulated, meaning that all new casinos that want to operate within the state must go through the West Virginia Lottery. A certificate has to be obtained in order to operate or to promote any casino activity within the state. Sports wagering became legal in the state in 2018, but only in 2020 did we find that casinos were making their debut in the online world. The first operator on the scene was DraftKings Casino, which accepted wagers as part of a partnership with an existing land-based casino. West Virginia is now the fifth state to offer online gambling options to players, after New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Nevada.
Online Poker in West Virginia
Poker rooms are allowed in the state of West Virginia and can usually be found in one of the brick-and-mortar casinos or tribal casinos. Currently there are a total of 63 professional poker tables spread out across 5 official poker rooms. However as from March 2019, poker was made available to players who want to join a game online, as part of an allowance for partnerships between online casinos and brick and mortar premises.
One of the most popular destinations for poker players is the Mardi Gras Casino and Resort located in Nitro. The poker rooms here are a crowd-favourite and cater to most of the needs of the players. Many popular poker variations can be players in one of the poker rooms, such as Texas Hold'em, Limit Holdem, No Limit Holdem, 7 Card Stud, Pot Limit Omaha, Omaha 8 or Better, Tournaments, Omaha Hi-Lo Split and of course Omaha
Is Sportsbook Legal In West Virginia?
Online sportsbook and horse betting and greyhound betting are fully permitted in one of the licensed tracks or racinos, as well as one of the three sports betting apps available within the state. Horse racing and greyhound racing have been available for recreational purposes ever since the 1930s. Sports betting became legal in the state much more recently, with DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM accepting wagers via their website or app since 2020.
Land-based Casinos in West Virginia
West Virginia offers a multitude of land-based and tribal casinos throughout the state. There are currently 5 operational brick-and-mortar casinos which gamblers can visit, with The Casino Club at The Greenbrier and the Hollywood Casino being the most popular. Out of all the available casinos in the state, Hollywood Casino is considered to be the biggest and the most elaborate with 2500 slot machines and 98 table games, making it an attractive prospect for players in the state.
Table games that are allowed in casinos are roulette, craps and Big 6. Dice games and baccarat are not legal within the state of West Virginia. The current five casinos based in West Virginia are:
- The Casino Club at The Greenbrier.
- Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.
- Mardi Gras Casino and Resort.
- Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort.
- Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack.
Racinos in West Virginia
Racinos are a common sight in West Virginia and many other states where gambling options are limited compared to more lenient states like New Jersey. “Racinos” is a portmanteau of the words “racetrack” and “casino”. The option to build a racino is left up to the county to decide or can be implemented by popular vote.
Racinos provide a large tax income for the state, having 35 to 49% of their gross revenue taxed by the state. Racinos also need to pay for a daily licence, which allows them to stay operational. Licence costs can vary between $150 and $250 per diem..
Lotteries in West Virginia
Lotteries are widely enjoyed and available within the state of West Virginia. The state runs its own lottery in the form of the West Virginia Lottery which also is responsible for iGaming partner licences. Players can also choose from Keno, Daily 3, Daily 4, and Cash 25. They also offer multi-state games like Hot Lotto, MegaMillions and Powerball.
Gamblers can also find so called “video lotteries” located on any of the licensed casino or racinos, where players can purchase a lottery ticket from a terminal.
Minimum Legal Age To Gamble In West Virginia
Gamblers who wish to enter a land-based casino located within West Virginia need to be at least 21 years old. To bet on any of the horse races or greyhound races, players need to be of 18 years of age. The same age is required for playing bingo and lotteries.
Who Regulates Casinos in West Virginia?
The West Virginia lottery is currently in charge of regulating casinos in West Virginia. The WV Lottery also oversees sports betting and racetrack wagering in the state, as it is the only licencing body in the state.
For a gambling establishment to operate in the state, it has to follow responsible gambling laws, including:
- Conspicuously posted signage at each casino
- Offering self-exclusion regulations
- Restriction of minors from gambling.
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources also has a Compulsive Gambling Treatment Fund. This fund is built up every year with contributions from the gaming industry directly, and players who feel they may have problems with their gambling can contact them for judgement-free help and advice.
A Final Word on Gambling in West Virginia
West Virginia might be a new player to the online casino world, but by companies partnering with the land-based operators and even obtaining licences from the West Virginia lotter, we are sure they’ll compete with the best of the best as the scene develops. Table games are limited for now, but some wagering and gambling activities are permitted online and in person. Sports betting seems to be a state favourite and provides a solid income for the state, however we are sure that casinos will grow in popularity in time.