West Virginia is one of the few states that allows online wagering for casino gambling, poker and sports betting. WV sports betting began in late 2018, with three online sportsbooks now operating, and online casinos launched in July 2020.
A gambling expansion bill legalizing online casinos and online poker became law in 2019.
Casino players eagerly awaiting online casino action were able to play online casino games at a growing number of social casinos, including Chumba, for amusement purposes or prizes, and that remains an option for those who are awaiting more offerings. Playing for real money is not recommended at offshore-based online casinos, which are unregulated and lack any level of customer support or protection.
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Yes. State lawmakers in 2019 passed the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act, a gambling expansion bill that legalized online casino gambling and online poker. The state has five land-based casino licensees, and each will be permitted to form one online partnership for casino gambling and another for online poker.
Online casinos launched in July 2020, but poker sites are still a ways off. WV bettors can also sharpen their skills by playing free casino games at a variety of social casinos. Gambling.com has compiled a list of the top social casinos, such as Luckyland and Chumba Casino, which offer free online casino games through their websites or Facebook apps. Some social casinos allow you to win prizes.
WV online sportsbook betting has already launched, with daily fantasy sports giants DraftKings and FanDuel going live with mobile sports betting in August 2019 and BetMGM in January 2020.
The WV Lottery Commission initially set a July 1, 2020 deadline to enact online casino gambling regulations. DraftKings launched its online casino product on July 15, 2020 in the Mountain State, partnering with Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. In late August, BetMGM joined the online casino market in WV, partnering with The Greenbrier Casino Club.
|Online Casino||Land-Based Partner||Date Launched|
|DraftKings||Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races||July 15, 2020|
|BetMGM||The Greenbrier||August 27, 2020|
|Casino||City||Address||Hours of Operation|
|Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races||Charles Town||750 Hollywood Drive||24 hours/7 days a week|
|Mountaineer Casino||New Cumberland||1420 Mountaineer Circle||24 hours/7 days a week|
|The Greenbrier Casino Club||White Sulpher Springs||101 Main Street West||Sunday-Thursday: 1 p.m.-1 a.m.; Friday: 1 p.m.-4 a.m.; Saturday: 11 a.m.-4 a.m.|
|Mardi Gras Casino||Cross Lanes||1 Greyhound Drive||24 hours/7 days a week|
|Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Racetrack||Wheeling||1 S. Stone Street||24 hours/7 days a week|
A closer look at West Virginia’s land-based casinos:
Owned by Penn National Gaming, Hollywood is the largest land-based casino in West Virginia with 2,200 slot machines, 75 table games and a 16-table poker room. Located about 70 miles from Washington D.C., and operates year-round thoroughbred horse racing meet. Partnered with William Hill for land-based sportsbook and Draftkings for online sports wagering.
The first racino in the U.S., Mountaineer Casino is located on the northern tip of the state, about 50 miles from Pittsburgh and Youngstown, Ohio. After recent sale, facility is now operated by Colorado-based Century Casinos. Mountaineer has more than 1,100 slot machines and nearly 40 table games. Its retail sportsbook is partnered with William Hill. No online sportsbook yet for mobile sports betting.
The country’s lone private casino, The Greenbrier is a resort in White Sulphur Springs owned by the family of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice. The Greenbrier has hosted several historic international meetings and 26 presidents have reportedly stayed at the hotel. The casino is open only to guests, club members and Greenbrier property owners and enforces a dress code. In-person and online sportbooks are partnered with FanDuel. A second online sportsbook is partnered with BetMGM.
Nearly 1,000 slot machines along with table games and poker room. Facility located in Cross Lanes, 13 miles west of Charleston, offers year-round live greyhound and simulcast horse racing. Partnered with industry veteran IGT to offer land-based sportsbook.
Like Mardi Gras, a greyhound track and casino owned by Delaware North. Casino has more than 1,200 slot machines, table games and nine poker tables. Land-based Betly Sportsbook is partnered with IGT.
DraftKings and Fanduel, which dominate the online sportsbook business in West Virginia, were logical candidates to open online casinos, and FanDuel is expected to join the market at some point. Both operate online casinos in other states and are highly recognizable brands, both for their years in daily fantasy sports as well as their sports betting sites.
PokerStars runs successful online poker sites in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and could partner with a West Virginia land-based licensee to offer online poker and casino games. BetMGM offers a WV online sportsbook app and is also a major online casino operator in other states, so its joining the market on August 27, 2020, was no surprise.
Online operators will pay reasonable tax rates. Under the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act, online gambling revenues will be taxed at 15%, with a $250,000 interactive license fee. By comparison, neighboring Pennsylvania’s tax rates are 54% for online slots revenue and 16% for online table games and poker.
Yes. Mobile apps add to the convenience of online betting, allowing players to wager on their mobile devices from any location within the state. Expect all of West Virginia’s licensed online casinos and poker sites to launch mobile apps for iOS and Android users.
The apps should offer not only offer a wide selection of casino games, but also full cashier functionality for deposits and withdrawals.
WV bettors will be able to download the apps directly from the casino operator’s website free of charge. Bettors using iPhone or iPad will also be able to download from the App Store.
West Virginia’s land-based casinos offer poker rooms, and when regulations are enacted and licenses awarded, online poker will follow. One big question is whether WV will join other states in sharing players. The more players available, the bigger selection of games, tournaments and prize money. Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware share player liquidity on the WSOP and 888Poker networks, and other states with legal online poker are considering joining. But the issue is complicated by different interpretations of The Wire Act, which questions whether online gaming interactions across state lines are legal.
Online blackjack is the most popular table game at any casino and will be a key component of all online casino sites in West Virginia. Expect games ranging from single-deck to eight-deck blackjack, along with several popular variants, such as Blackjack Switch, European Blackjack and Spanish 21.
Slots are the backbone of all casino wagering. All of the major land-based slots manufacturers are well-represented online, so West Virginia bettors can expect a large selection of traditionally popular online slot games, pop culture-themed slots and new multi-level games. You can also expect plenty of progressive slots offering giant-sized jackpots.
Instead of a roulette wheel, an electronic random number generator is used. One of the easiest games to learn, online roulette is popular at both in-person and online casinos. West Virginia bettors should find European or French Roulette is available, which both offer only a single zero slot and more friendly odds than the American version.
It’s to be determined whether West Virginia online casinos will offer live dealer options for table games such as blackjack, roulette and baccarat. In live dealer, an actual person deals the game from a live studio and players wager through an online interface. It’s a popular online betting option in New Jersey and creates a more social online experience because players can interact with the dealer and other players at the table.
West Virginia online gambling sites offer a variety of payment options to fund and withdraw money from your account, and the state’s online casinos are expected to offer similar options. The most common:
E-wallets: Recommended option for deposits and withdrawals. PayPal, Neteller and Skrill are the most popular options, offering fast transactions with little or no fees. If you deposit with an e-wallet, typically you can withdraw back into that same account.
Play+/Prepaid cards: Play+ was created for just this purpose and you can create an account right after registering on a site that accepts it. You can use one Play+ card at multiple sites, fund it with a credit card, and withdraw funds from an ATM. Other prepaid cards are often branded by the online casino itself and you can often apply on your online operator’s website. Reloadable account that allows deposits and withdrawals with little or no fees.
E-checks, bank transfers: Electronic connection is established between a player’s bank account and online casino or sportsbook account for deposits or withdrawals.
PayNearMe: Deposit method with no bank account or credit card needed. A West Virginia 7-Eleven, CVS Pharmacy or Family Dollar scans a barcode that will transfer cash to your online account.
Credit and debit cards: The most popular option for deposits, with Visa and MasterCard the most widely accepted, though some financial institutions are still wrongly blocking them. When they work, deposits take place instantly. Many credit card companies charge fees.
WV players can expect to see a variety of bonus offers and promotions as new online casinos compete to sign up new players. Among them:
No deposit welcome bonus: Offered to new players after registering for an account. The bonus amounts vary, but are usually in the $20-$30 range. Once awarded, the player will need to wager the money one time or more before it can be redeemed. Read all wagering requirements carefully.
Deposit match: Make an initial deposit into your account and the casino operator will match that amount up to 100%. Players are required to satisfy specific wagering requirements with the bonus money before it can be unlocked. Some games may be counted differently toward the wagering requirement, so be sure to check the terms and conditions.
Free play bonuses: Varies by casino, usually involves free play vouchers or free slot spins for new players.
Loyalty programs: Online casinos not only want to attract new players, but keep and reward existing ones. They do that with loyalty programs in which players can accumulate points or cash based on their level of wagering.
West Virginia was one of the earlier states to formally support and regulate its pari-mutuel horse racing industry, creating an oversight commission in the 1930s. As horse racing began to wane in influence and revenues in the ensuing decades, West Virginia propped up its gaming industry with a state lottery and, later, full-fledged casino-style options at its tracks.
After the growth of these racinos across the state, West Virginia elected officials turned to internet options to further strengthen state gaming. There have been some stumbles with the early sportsbooks, but in the coming years, West Virginia online gaming hopes to become a pioneering force. Lawmakers approved internet poker and casino games in fall 2019 to go along with legal sports betting, which was approved in 2018 two months before the repeal of PASPA.
WV SPORTS BETTING REVENUE & HANDLE, SEPTEMBER vs AUGUST
|Total handle||Mobile handle||Revenue|
|Change||Up 90.3%||Up 90.4%||Up 133%|
Note: West Virginia reports numbers weekly rather than by calendar month. September represents Aug. 30-Oct. 3; August represents Aug. 2-29.
Updated Oct. 12
WV lawmakers permit operation of video lottery terminals at state’s racetracks.
State’s casinos are permitted to offer casino-style table games. The state’s four pari-mutuel facilities transition into racinos.
Voters approve casino-style gambling at The Greenbrier, a private hotel, which opens The Greenbrier Casino in 2010.
Mobile and land-based sports betting is approved in March, two months before the U.S. Supreme Court overturns federal ban. After sports betting ban is lifted, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races accepts state’s first in-person sports wager in August. BetLucky.com accepts first online sports bet in December.
Legislature passes West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act, legalizing online table games and poker. Online casinos are required to partner with one of state’s five land-based gambling facilities. BetLucky.com is shut down by Delaware North, owner of Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island racinos, due to dispute with online wagering partner.
Online sports betting returns to WV as FanDuel and DraftKings launch online sportsbooks.
West Virginia Lottery officials craft rules and regulations for online gaming industry.
First online casino launches in the state. In August, a second site launches.
West Virginia was ready for sports betting even before the U.S. Supreme Court paved the way.
State lawmakers passed sports betting (mobile and land-based) legislation in March 2018, two months before the high court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which restricted sport wagering outside of Nevada. Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races accepted the first sports bet on Aug. 30, 2018.
West Virginia is home to five land-based sportsbooks, which can each partner with as many as three online platforms. In April 2020, the state was home to three online sportsbooks, with several more expected to join the marketplace.
|Online Sportsbook||Land-Based Partner||Date Launched|
|FanDuel Sportsbook||The Greenbrier||Aug. 26, 2019||Bet Now|
|DraftKings Sportsbook||Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races||Aug. 28, 2019||Bet Now|
|BetMGM Sportsbook||The Greenbrier||Jan. 21, 2020||Bet Now|
Bettors can make an in-person wager at any of these West Virginia racinos or casinos. The Greenbrier is a private casino and sportsbook serving resort guests and club members.
|Hollywood at Charles Town Races||Hollywood Casino Sportsbook||Aug. 30, 2018|
|The Greenbrier Casino Club||FanDuel Sportsbook||Sept. 13, 2018|
|Mountaineer Casino Racetrack||William Hill Sportsbook||Nov. 21, 2018|
|Mardi Gras Casino & Resort||Betly Sportsbook||Jan. 31, 2020|
|Wheeling Island Casino Racetrack||Betly Sportsbook||Jan. 31, 2020|
West Virginia law allows betting on all of the major professional and college sports as well as international sports. Wagering on games involving West Virginia college teams is permitted. Betting on high school sports is prohibited. Wagering on eSports is allowed as long as all participants are at least 18 years of age.
The West Virginia Lottery Commission regulates and licenses the state’s sports betting industry. The commission is in the process of enacting rules and regulations for online casino gaming, which became law in 2019.
No. Players can set up an online casino account from anywhere. But state gambling laws stipulate that they must be physically located within the state of West Virginia to place a wager.
Geolocation technology allows online sportsbooks and casinos to accurately track and pinpoint a player’s location, whether playing on a computer or mobile device. Regulators require this, but your information is secure.
DraftKings launched in mid-July 2020, followed by BetMGM about six weeks later.
WV bettors must be 21 or older to wager on casino gambling and at sportsbooks.
The West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act mandates that the state collect a 15% tax from online gambling and online poker revenue (higher than the 10% tax on online sports wagers). In addition, online gaming license fees are set at $250,000 with renewal fees every five years. Economic impact estimates for WV online gambling are a reported $29.9 million in five years, though sports betting revenue has fallen short of projections.
The online forms of gambling allowed in West Virginia are sports betting, casino gaming and poker.
Betting with offshore-based casino sites is always risky and never recommended. Offshore casinos are not licensed or regulated and operate with little oversight, resulting in a far lower level of security. If you have an issue with a regulated West Virginia gambling site, you can turn to the state’s Lottery Commission. You have no such recourse with offshore betting sites.
The sign-up process will be simple. Visit the website of the online operator of your choice, register for an account, collect whatever bonus offers are available, then make a deposit to fund your account. The steps typically require your personal information, a government-issued ID and either the last four digits of your Social Security number or the entire SSN. After that, you’re ready to wager.
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