Here is the latest information about land-based (offline) gambling and online gambling in the state of West Virginia (WV) – a region that is fast becoming one of the major gambling hubs in the US. Starting with a brief history of gambling in WV, I’ve also included information about the current gambling laws, together with a list of some of the benefits of gambling in the Mountain State. You can also find an FAQ section and other highlights, and towards the bottom, there’s a section that some of you will find useful with information that covers problem gambling. Today, West Virginia permits certain land-based gambling activities, and online casinos have also been legal in the state since March 2019.
- Listing of Top Legal West Virginia Online Casinos
- Gambling History in the US State of West Virginia
- West Virginia USA Gambling & Online Gambling Laws
- Online Casino Benefits to Players from the US State of West Virginia
- FAQ Useful to Players from the US State of West Virginia
- Online Gambling Highlights in the State of West Virginia
- Problem Gambling Help in the State of West Virginia
Listing of Top Legal West Virginia Online Casinos
Below is a listing of all available online casinos within the State of West Virginia where you can play legally if you are playing from within the State.
|2||Caesars Casino||Not Applicable|
|3||BetRivers Casino||Mountaineer Casino|
|4||FanDuel Casino||The Greenbrier|
|5||DraftKings Casino||Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races|
Gambling History in the US State of West Virginia
If we go right back to the beginning, we see that West Virginia’s constitution initially made all forms of gambling illegal in 1863. However, things started to change in the 1870s when exceptions were made for pari-mutuel wagering (a betting system in which all bets of a particular type are placed together in a pool). West Virginia then became one of the first US states to legalize certain major land-based gambling events, such as greyhound racing and horse racing, which have both been alive and well since 1931.
We then have to fast-forward a few decades to 1981 before we see bingo becoming legalized, and then in 1985, the Lottery Act was passed, which eventually led to the first legal lottery ticket being sold in the following January of 1986. WV was also the first state in the Appalachians to introduce a state lottery.
Video lottery became legal in 1994, and then went on to become legal at bars in 2001. The next big change occurred in 2008 when table games were added to a list of legal games of chance and skill. All of these forms of legal betting are only permitted at licensed tracks and racinos (combined race track and casinos).
In February 2019, West Virginia became the fifth US state to legalize online gambling when the State House Bill HB 2934 was passed, and although online casinos have been legal since 2019, it wasn’t until the following July 2020 when the first online casino opened its doors. With regards to land-based gambling in WV, you can now find five main venues, including four pari-mutuel facilities and one resort hotel. You have the Mardi Gras West Virginia Casino & Resort, the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, the Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort, the Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Racetrack, and the Casino Club at the Greenbrier.
As of 2020, it’s also legal to play the state lottery and video lottery terminals (VLTs - a type of electronic gambling machine) at such venues. However, the law states that VLT machines can't use casino themes such as dice, roulette, or baccarat. Casino games at racetracks are also permitted, along with pari-mutuel wagering at licensed horse and dog racing tracks and off-track betting facilities. You can play authorized bingo and take part in raffles at licensed venues, plus scratchcards are also permitted. The other legal form of gambling that West Virginians have access to in 2020 is online poker.
West Virginians can also place wagers at a growing number of online sports betting websites, and for each sport that you can place a wager on, there are hundreds of individual markets available. You can place a sports bet on home-grown US sporting events and also on numerous other major sporting events from around the world.
The global pandemic in 2020 saw the bricks and mortar gambling venues temporarily closing, and at the time of writing, it’s still unclear as to exactly when they will reopen for business as usual – that’s if they reopen at all. Before the pandemic hit and lockdown restrictions took hold, people from neighbouring states would also come to West Virginia to gamble freely at these venues, but the strict lockdown restrictions meant that people could no longer visit them. The only option that left gamblers were left with was to play at online casinos and other similar gambling sites.
West Virginia USA Gambling & Online Gambling Laws
Online sports betting, casino games and poker are all legal in West Virginia, and the legal minimum gambling age in the state is 18 for lottery games, bingo, and racing. For sports betting and casino-style games, it’s 21.The three main gambling authorities that regulate gambling in West Virginia are the West Virginia Lottery Commission (which also oversees electronic VLTs and table games), the West Virginia Charitable Organizations Commission, and the West Virginia Racing Commission.
Several different laws regulate the different aspects of the gambling market in WV, and the new legislation allowed for online slots and casino games. However, when the authorities awarded just five licenses, they were only granted to the state's five land-based casinos that were mentioned above. HB2934 legalized online gambling operations by the four racinos, HB2178 allowed the single brick-and-mortar casino in the state to offer interactive gambling, and SB415 authorized online sports betting.
On a positive note for online gamblers, there are no laws that prevent you as a player from signing up to an online casino that operates from outside of West Virginia or outside of the US for that matter. This is why you will find that most of the online casinos that currently accept real cash wagers from WV players operate from outside of West Virginian borders where local WV authorities have no jurisdiction. These websites are otherwise known as offshore gambling sites, and the good news is that there are now plenty of them to choose from.
There is also no law that stops people who live outside of West Virginia to visit the state and gamble at land-based casinos or at legally permitted online gambling sites. However, if you have come from outside of West Virginia to gamble online within state borders, you would still need to register your details to open an account, which means that you would need to provide a WV address when filling out the online registration form.
In most states where online casino gambling is illegal, Geo-Location software is used to determine exactly where you’re based, and this has effectively made it impossible for players to cheat the system. VPN detectors are also used by casino operators to prevent interstate gambling (a direct abuse of the Wire Act law of 1961).
This clever bit of software is used to track whether you’re using a VPN (virtual private network) to disguise your true location. If you are using a VPN to hide your true location to try and make it look as though you’re playing from West Virginia, then you will be asked to switch it off, which means that you couldn’t play at the casino because the Geo-Location and VPN detecting software will detect that you’re not in WV. In other words, if you live in West Virginia, you won’t need to worry about this. You’re safe playing at all of the featured online casinos that have been reviewed for you right here on this website without having to worry about the police knocking at your front door.
Online Casino Benefits to Players from the US State of West Virginia
With regards to online gambling laws in the US, WV has one of the most liberal approaches towards gambling, and one of the most obvious benefits of playing at legal West Virginia-focussed online casinos is that you aren’t breaking any laws when gambling in the real money mode at these sites. There are currently lots of great sites out there, and you’ll find that many of today’s best online casinos that accept real cash wagers from West Virginian players are licensed, monitored and regulated by some of the most trusted authorities in the world. You can also take comfort in the fact that these offshore regulated online casinos are often controlled by some of the most reputable online gambling operators in the word.
Not only can you benefit from a generous new player welcome bonus when you sign up to the casino and deposit for the very first time, but you can also benefit from some attractive loyalty programs where you can get rewarded for you play. You can also take part in various other promotions where you can win real-world prizes, plus you can take advantage of plenty of frequent online casino bonuses such as Cashback Bonuses, Deposit Bonuses, Free Spins Bonuses, and more.
West Virginian players currently have access to some of the best online casino games in the world from various leading online casino software providers(e.g. Playtech, NetEnt, IGT, WMS Gaming, Quickspin, Blueprint Gaming, Red Tiger Gaming, Pragmatic Play, Evolution Gaming, and others), and you can often find anywhere from 1,000 or 2,000 games to choose from.
There are lots of other benefits for West Virginian players, such as being able to practice on the games in the free play demo mode before risking your own hard-earned cash in the real money mode, just to see if you like the game or not, and you can play to win a life-changing jackpot every single day of the week. Also, West Virginian online casinos never close. They are open 24 hours per day, and you can count on things like 24-hour player support in English (plus other language options are also available). The professionally trained support agents can be reached via toll-free telephone, live chat and email.
The casinos also employ the very latest and most advanced Secure Socket layer (SSL) encryption technology to keep out the bad guys and ensure that your personal details, and more importantly, your funds are always in safe hands. Banking has never been easier at online casinos for WV players, which means that you can now benefit from a wide range of fast, reliable and secure online payment options that process deposits in the blink of an eye.
Even the withdrawal times are fairly rapid, and in some cases, can take just a few hours to be processed at all of our reviewed WV online casinos. You have the added benefit of being able to play at online casinos either from the comfort of your own home or while taking a stroll in the park, and they can be accessed from most modern devices such as smartphones, tablets, desktop computers and laptops. Gone are the days of having to get dressed and travel miles to your nearest land-based casino, thanks to a growing number of highly recommended WV online casinos that you can find today.
FAQ Useful to Players from the US State of West Virginia
Is it legal to gamble in West Virginia?
Yes. Players in West Virginia can legally gamble in the real money mode at numerous fully licensed gambling sites that are controlled by reputable operators with proven track records. It’s also legal to gamble at five well-established land-based gambling venues. Online sports betting, casino games, and poker are all legal in West Virginia. The legal minimum gambling age in the state is 18 for lottery games, bingo, and racing. For sports betting and casino-style games, it’s 21.
How do I choose the best West Virginia online casino?
You should always try and carry out your own basic research before signing up to any old casino, but you can also rest assured knowing that we have done the hard work for you right here on this website so that you don’t have to. It’s best to find out if the casino can be trusted or not by finding out where it’s licensed, who owns it, and which third party online casino testing agency monitors the casino’s games for fairness. I recommend NOT choosing an online casino just because you like the look of the homepage.
It would be a good idea to read through the terms and conditions with regards to the bonus wagering requirements and other policies prior to signing up. You should also take into consideration the types of games that are available at the casino, which software provider(s) supply games to the casino, how many games the casino has, and the average payout rate for these games. Also, consider the types of bonuses, promotions and loyalty programs the casino has, and then take a few seconds to find out what types of payment methods and the different support methods you will have access to.
How do I claim my online casino bonus?
Depending on the type of bonus will determine exactly how you can go about claiming it. For example, if you’re claiming a Free Spins Bonus to try out an online slot machine, then you generally need to accept the bonus and then launch the slot to activate the Free Spins. As soon as you have finished your Free Spins, any winnings that you made will be credited to your account and ready to use either on that same game or on any of the other games at the casino.
If you’re claiming a matching deposit bonus, for example, as part of the welcome bonus, then you generally need to make a minimum deposit to activate the bonus. As soon as you have deposited, the matching deposit bonus money will instantly be credited to your account. If the matching deposit bonus that you are trying to claim requires a code, make sure that you enter the correct code into the required field prior to making your deposit.
Any cashback bonuses that you qualify for should automatically be credited to your account, and it’s generally based on the amount that you have wagered and lost in the casino over a certain period (e.g. one day, week or month). However, some online casinos require you to contact the player support to get your cashback. The best thing to do when claiming an online casino bonus would be to read through the bonus T’s and C’s before you accept the bonus to find out exactly how you can go about claiming the bonus.
What are online casino bonus wagering requirements (aka playthrough requirements)?
This is the amount of cash that you must wager before you can withdraw any winnings that you have made from your bonus. At most online casinos, you have to wager anywhere from 10x times the bonus amount up to no more than 60x times the bonus amount. The lower the wagering requirements are, the better it is for you as a player.
Don’t forget that you have to complete your wagering requirements within a certain amount of time. You will also find that only certain games (usually slots and scratchcards) will contribute 100% towards completing your wagering requirements per $1.00 wagered, but other games such as roulette, blackjack, and most other table & card games may only contribute anywhere from 0% to 20% towards completing them.
How do I get in touch with the casino should a problem arise?
Every online casino has a variety of player support methods available for registered members. One of the best ways to get in touch with a player support agent would be via the live chat feature. You can also call the casino’s support team on a toll-free number, or for less urgent matters, you can drop them an email. Telephone and live chat are both usually open 24 hours per day, and although English is the main supported language, other language options are also generally available too.
How do I deposit and withdraw at West Virginia casinos?
Simply head to the cashier section when logged in to your account and then choose from any of the available online casino banking options. The most commonly accept online casino deposit and withdrawal methods at WV casinos include credit & debit cards, prepaid cards, e-wallets, and bank transfers, plus one or two other methods can also now be used, such as cash checks and even certain cryptocurrencies.
How do I know the software at online casinos can be trusted?
The software at today’s best WV online casinos is constantly monitored for fairness and frequently tested for faults or inconsistencies by trusted third party online casino testing agencies. In other words, the outcomes and results that you find when playing on any of the games at our featured online casinos are about as fair and realistic as can be.
Online Gambling Highlights in the US State of West Virginia
- West Virginian players currently have access to some of the best online casinos in the world. They are licensed by well-known authorities in one of several major licensing jurisdictions, and they are controlled by reputable operators with proven track records
- Today’s best WV online casinos are powered by numerous leading online casino software providers (e.g. NetEnt, Playtech, Red Tiger Gaming, IGT, Microgaming, WMS Gaming, NextGen, SG Digital, Blueprint Gaming, Pragmatic Play, Quickspin, Yggdrasil Gaming, and others), which means that you can now enjoy playing on hundreds (sometimes thousands) of the most famous games in the world all under one roof
- You can sign up to a WV casino for free in less than a couple of minutes via the casino’s online registration form, and you can claim a guaranteed new player welcome bonus as soon as your new account has been activated. The sign-up bonus can usually be claimed when you make your first deposit, although you can also find some online casinos that offer no deposit bonuses. You can also then look forward to plenty of ongoing promotional offers where you can win real-world prizes such as the latest gadgets, brand new cars, and luxury vacations. Don’t forget that you can also earn redeemable loyalty points just for playing in the real money mode on any of your favourite games thanks to the attractive loyalty rewards programs
- There are plenty of life-changing jackpots that can be won on a daily basis, and the good news is that many of these multi-million dollar jackpots can be won from as little as $0.10 to $0.50 per spin/round/hand
- West Virginian players will have access to professionally trained player support agents that are available 24 hours per day via email, telephone and live chat at all of our reviewed WV online casinos
- You can choose from a broad range of popular US online payment methods when depositing and withdrawing
- Online casinos for West Virginian players are often ranked among the most secure in the world. Your personal details and funds are always in safe hands because they are protected by the latest SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption technology (the same stuff that banks and other major financial institutions use)
- You can enjoy playing your favourite games from almost any location, either on desktop or mobile, and you can play instantly in your web browser without having to download and any online casino software onto your preferred device
- Everyone from low rollers to high rollers can enjoy playing at today’s best WV casino sites because all of the games have wide betting ranges that cater to pretty much every budget
- In addition to the online casino products, you will also find that a growing number of highly recommended WV casino sites also now have several other gambling products to place a wager on, such as a live dealer casino, sports betting, in-play betting, virtual sports, bingo, poker, and lottery, and perhaps one or two other exciting gambling products
Problem Gambling Help in the US State of West Virginia
The good news for West Virginian residents is that the player support that’s currently available for problem gamblers is fantastic. Today, there are numerous charitable and non-profit organizations that you can turn to today for free advice and guidance. Some of the most notable organizations out there today are the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), Problem Gamblers Help Network of West Virginia, West Virginia - Gamblers Anonymous, and Gambling Therapy, to name just a few.
Each of these organizations is easy to get in touch with, so if you think that you have a problem with gambling, or perhaps you’re concerned about a friend or family member that may have recently developed a gambling problem, the best thing to do would be to reach out to one of these renowned organizations before it’s too late. You can call the Problem Gamblers Help Network of West Virginia on 1-800-426-2537. To get in touch with the NCPG, call 1-800-522-4700, or if you would rather text the NCPG, the number is 1-800-522-4700. You can also get through to them via a chat feature at ncpgambling.org/chat.
Some of the other useful WV state resources for problem gambling that can also be relied upon are the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Gam-Anon (www.gam-anon.org) and GamTalk (www.gamtalk.org). All of these reliable problem gambling organizations tend to provide things such as self-help tools, online support forums, questionnaires and more (e.g. advocacy, treatment, training professionals, intervention & outreach, public awareness & information, and prevention programs). You will have access to friendly counsellors that have been trained to deal with a wide range of problems relating to gambling.
There are also plenty of walk-in centres where you can have one-on-one meetings or group meetings with fellow problem gamblers. West Virginian citizens can also look to the global community for additional free and impartial problem gambling support, guidance and advice. Two such organizations that you can turn to are GamCare and GambleAware (BeGambleAware).