West Virginia residents now can gamble online with some of the biggest names in the industry after some recent changes to laws in the state. Lawmakers have taken steps to put in place various entities to implement the necessary regulations and procedures to ensure the safety and welfare of West Virginians when gambling online.
This article will help you understand the various aspects of gambling in WV, including the 100% legal and safe online gambling options. Whether you play casino games, poker, or bet on sports, we will tell you what to look for on sites. We want to ensure that residents seek out these services from sites that are fully licensed by the state to ensure players have a safe experience as they gamble. You will also find what to expect when betting at a land-based location in the Mountain State.
Types of Online Gaming Available in WV
Despite its conservative image, West Virginia is known for its ambitious gambling projects. For example, it has been able to successfully implement land-based and video lottery terminals since 2007. In addition, four primary forms of online gambling are legal in West Virginia: sports betting, poker rooms, casinos, and daily fantasy sports (DFS) betting.
The West Virginia Legislature took on the task of regulating sports betting in 2018, and online betting eventually came to fruition. The following year, the legislature approved an update to the state’s gaming industry, which included the introduction of full-scale online gambling.
Due to the nature of the games offered, they do not suffer from liquidity issues that usually occur in low-population markets. This is also the reason why many other operators are not yet ready to enter the market.
Currently, there are eight options for online casinos in the Mountain State, all of which are compatible with desktop and mobile devices. These casinos offer bonuses to new players when they sign up and plenty of promotions for existing players. The options are:
- Barstool Casino
- BetMGM Casino
- BetRivers Casino
- Caesars Casino
- DraftKings Casino
- FanDuel Casino
- Golden Nugget Casino
- PointsBet Casino (* future Fanatics Casino)
Caesars and FanDuel launched their WV sportsbooks in August 2019. BetMGM and DraftKings followed soon after in January 2020. The new legislation allows the state’s land-based casinos to partner with three other sports betting platforms. This means that there could be a total of 15 online sportsbooks. Currently, the options for WV sports betters include:
- BetMGM Sportsbook
- BetRivers Sportsbook
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
The state’s interactive wagering law recently changed to make real-money online poker legal. Despite its small size, the market in West Virginia still has potential. Its lack of multi-state competition could make it hard for operators to enter. Two major iGaming operators have entered the West Virginia market. This could mean that more people will start playing poker in the future.
Daily Fantasy Sports
Real-money fantasy sports sites and daily fantasy sports are also legal in West Virginia. Since 2016, daily fantasy sports have been allowed in the state. After reviewing the various aspects of daily fantasy sports, the legislature decided that it should not be banned. This means that you can still play fantasy sports in West Virginia.
The West Virginia Lottery is not currently offering online ticket sales or other types of online gaming. However, it is a licensed jurisdiction for online horse and greyhound racing. West Virginians voted to approve the state’s lottery in 1984, and it was enacted in 1985.
The games offered by the West Virginia Lottery are primarily in-state. However, residents can only buy tickets from a limited number of retail locations. Despite the state’s efforts to liberalize sports betting and online gaming, there are no plans to operate an online lottery in West Virginia.
Why Choose a Legal West Virginia Online Gambling Site?
Online gambling has become a popular activity for many people as the internet becomes more accessible. With more demand for casinos many legitimate and illegitimate sites have launched. There are plenty of reasons people choose a legal online gambling site. However, there are some real concerns about the evils of online gambling. While many of these concerns are warranted, players can mitigate most by using a legal site.
At a legal site in WV, they have to follow several rules, set by the state’s gaming authority, that all games are fair for players. This ensures that there is a chance for people to win. However, at an illegal site, there are no rules in place to prevent them from preventing players from winning.
In addition, legitimate online casinos allow users to easily monitor and control their gaming activities. Platforms offer several tools to help players gamble responsibly. Some options include setting limits on how long you gamble, how much you can deposit, and loss limits. Additionally, if you need more help, legal sites work with the state for self-exclusion lists. We will go over this more later in this article.
On an ethical and legitimate site, there are strict regulations that ensure player privacy and safety. When you gamble online, you have to provide personal and banking information, it is essential that you go with a legal site so that your data does not end up in the wrong hands. So, stick to trustworthy sites to avoid any fraudulent issues.
Along with the other benefits we mentioned, legal WV online casinos also contribute to helping the local community through tax revenue. The money the state gets from these platforms help fund critical services for senior citizens, WV public schools, state parks, and tourism programs. Additionally, the gambling industry has created over 8,000 jobs in WV alone.
How to Know if a West Virginia Online Gambling Site is Legal, Regulated, and Safe
With the plethora of online gambling sites out there, it can be hard to tell which ones are legal, regulated, and safe. However, there are many reasons to play at a regulated and legal online gaming site in West Virginia. First of all, they make their games fair. Also, they promote responsible gaming, which helps prevent problem gambling. The following list applies to all legal and regulated WV online gambling sites:
- Gaming Regulator Seal: Operators licensed by the West Virginia Lottery Commission (WVLC) will display a seal on their website and apps. In this section, you will also see a small paragraph stating the regulations and the laws it follows.
- Association with a Land-Based Casino or State Lottery: Every online gambling platform in WV that accepts players must have a land-based partner that can operate in the state legally. In the state, there are five land-based casinos, which are the Casino Club, Hollywood Casino, Mardi Gras Casino & Resort, Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort, and Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack.
- Legal Jurisdiction: All of West Virginia’s online gaming establishments will always tell you that you can only use their products in the state of WV through the use of geolocation technology. The legal online platforms have a different site for WV players to stay within the law. If any site is not WV specific it is a sign that the gambling operator is not legal.
- Headquartered in the US: Each online gambling site in West Virginia will have its headquarters in the US, which is a huge step forward for protecting your money and reputation. An illegal site will have their headquarters overseas.So, do a quick search to find where an operator’s headquarters is located.
- Customer Service: To ensure that their customers are happy, secure operators answer their questions and provide prompt helpful solutions. At a legal site, users will be able to reach the support team via several options such as live chat, phone, social media, or email.
- Rewards Program: Not every regulated company has a rewards program. However, it can be an indication of a safe site. Since a legal site is well established and plans on running long-term in the state they want to find a way to keep their customers. With an illegitimate site, they often run temporarily so there is no need to offer a rewards program.
- Recognizable Name: Legal operators will be well-known in the industry, and it will be easy to find information on the company. When you are doing research on a site to play at you should not have to struggle to learn anything about the gambling platform. If information about the company is not available it is a sign that it is illegitimate.
Important Information When Choosing an Online Gambling Site in West Virginia
For gambling sites in West Virginia to be beneficial to players, it needs to provide them with a high-quality experience through multiple options. In addition, the gambling platform’s goal should be to provide its users with value and focus on usability. When you choose a site, there are several areas where you can see these qualities.
WV Online Gambling Welcome Bonuses
Although retail gambling is prevalent in West Virginia, there are also various benefits to playing online. One of these is the opportunity to receive generous bonuses and promotions. You will also find the terms and conditions that apply to the bonus. Most online casino welcome bonuses in WV are a deposit match for your first deposit.
Sometimes these offers are a no deposit bonus. A no deposit bonus is an excellent way to try out some of the best online gambling sites without depositing any money. Usually, these offers are smaller and are worth taking advantage of to add funds to your account.
Sports Betting Promotions in WV
West Virginia sports betting sites and apps offer various promotions that can add value to your bankroll. Some of these include bonuses that increase the odds of a bet. Some of the top sports betting sites in West Virginia offer a variety of bonuses and promotions. These are updated daily, so be sure to check the Promotions page for more details.
Aside from these, virtually every online sportsbook in West Virginia offers a welcome bonus that is sure to boost your bankroll. Some of these welcome bonuses can have a value of thousands of dollars. Others will allow you to make a big bet without risking any real money. These are the best odds available for legal sports betting in West Virginia. No matter which site you go with, make sure they are licensed and regulated to operate in the state.
Rewards for WV Customers
Online casinos often create loyalty programs to reward players who return to their sites. You typically get points for making bets and you can use these points for various prizes, perks, and benefits. Some of these include free bets, cash bonuses, and betting credits and even restaurant vouchers, and reservations at a nearby land-based partner. These loyalty programs are always free to join and often have an automatic enrollment feature. If not, make sure that you sign up to get extra points when you are wagering on the site.
WV Mobile Access
West Virginians can now gamble online through a variety of mobile apps. Mobile users should have a similar experience as those who use the desktop site. If there is not a mobile app iOS and Android users can still still play at the mobile site directly through their browser.
West Virginia’s online casinos offer a variety of games that the WVLC has approved. There are a variety of online slots, table games, poker, and multiple variations available.
Slots are the most popular game at online casinos. Some of the classic games are still around as well as many modern options with no lack of features, such as progressive jackpots.
Top software providers create games for WV online casinos to ensure fair gameplay. West Virginia online casinos can offer a variety of modern video slots with multiple themes to interest a wide range of players.
Blackjack is one of the most popular table games at WV casinos. In addition, there are multiple variations of online blackjack games that are available for everyone.
Roulette and Video Poker
In WV, gamblers can play American or European roulette as well as many other variations of the game including live games. Additionally, video poker has become the new standard in every state. In West Virginia, you can play multi-hand and multi-currency versions of jacks or better.
Most major sporting events in West Virginia became available for betting in 2019. Since then, bettors can look forward to many major sporting events. In addition, residents can gamble on many sports markets, which includes:
Although some states have rules against sports betting on collegiate teams, in West Virginia, it is legal to bet on any event that occurs in-state, such as football games and other in-state college sports. Since sports betting is now allowed in West Virginia, there are many types of bets that players can make at any given moment, they are:
- Round Robins
Gaming Regulator Information
The West Virginia Lottery Commission issues licenses to online gambling operators and is responsible for regulating commercial gaming activity in the state. Therefore, only those with the necessary permits can operate in the Mountain State.
The WVLC sets standards for gambling sites committed to providing a safe and secure online gaming experience. These include demonstrating the protection of players, being responsive to changes in the market, and providing safe banking options.
In West Virginia, the WVLC acts as a facilitator for customers who have a dispute with an operator. You can do this by submitting a request form on its website.
History of Online Gambling Legislation
West Virginia has one of the most progressive gambling laws in the country. All forms of land-based gambling are allowed in the state. In addition, West Virginia is the fifth state to allow online gambling. The industry generates more than $487.1 million in annual revenue for the state.
Since 1994, land-based casino gambling has been allowed in West Virginia; even race tracks offered table games. In March 2019, the West Virginia legislature approved an act that allows land-based casino operators to provide online gambling platforms. Then the first WV online casino was launched in July 2020.
In March 2018, the West Virginia legislature enacted a bill that allowed sports betting to be legalin the state. This bill became active after the SCOTUS ruled that the PASPA ban on sports betting was unlawful in May of 2018.
The West Virginia Lottery Sports Wagering Act of 2019 allowed the state’s five land-based casino establishments to offer sports betting both online and in-person. By the end of 2019, three of the five facilities had sports betting platforms.
Daily Fantasy Sports Laws
Due to the increasing popularity of daily fantasy sports in West Virginia, the state’s Attorney General, Patrick Morrisey, ruled that paid daily fantasy contests are not illegal under the state’s law. As a result, leading sites that offer these games are now legal in the state.
WV lawmakers legalized online poker and casino games in West Virginia in 2019. However, due to the small size of West Virginia’s online poker market, the launch of such sites may require an interstate player pool. For example, there is a shared player pool between Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey.
In November 1984, West Virginians approved an amendment to the state constitution that would allow a state lottery. The law was signed in May 1985. However, despite the legalized sports betting and online casino gaming in West Virginia, there are no plans for an online state lottery.
WV Gambling History Timeline
West Virginia has been steadily pushing for gambling since 1931. Here is a timeline of gambling legalization in the mountain state:
- 1931: The West Virginia Racing Commission was established, a pari-mutuel wagering regulator for the state.
- 1984 – 1986: A vote for a state lottery occurred in November 1984, and Lawmakers signed the Lottery Act in May 1985. In January of 1986, the first state lottery ticket was sold.
- 1994: The state legalizes Video Lottery Terminals in racetracks and bars.
- 2007: Race tracks were allowed to offer customers casino table games at their facilities.
- 2016: Patrick Morrisey, the WV Attorney General, rules that daily fantasy sports are legal.
- 2017: The first bill to legalize online gambling fails.
- 2018: The federal law gets overturned by the SCOTUS, and sports betting becomes legal.
- 2019: Online poker and casinos gambling becomes legal when the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act passes.
- 2020: The first online casinos in the Mountain State launch.
Responsible Gaming Resources in the State
The state, the WVLC, and licensed operators share responsibility for creating tools to help people gamble responsibly. These measures should keep gaming casual and fun while preventing it from becoming a problem to customers. Responsible gambling tools are:
- Prevent minors from gambling by setting an age limit and age verification.
- Settings to players to limit the amount of time and resources they use gambling.
- Timeout tools to help prevent harmful behaviors from forming.
- Have self-exclusion lists that keep players from gambling online or in person.
- Supporting the local community by funding schools, law enforcement, and services for those with a gambling problem.
- Ensuring the safety of customer data and finances
Responsible Gambling Limits
To gamble safely and enjoy the gaming experience, the old saying rings true in that you should only gamble with money that you can afford to lose. In order to help users, the site offers account controls to help them keep track of what they do on the site. Once you know how much you use a gambling platform, you can set up the following limits:
- Alerts: This feature will periodically pop up to let you know how long you have been gambling.
- Deposit Limits: This allows you to put a cap on how much money you add to your account.
- Time Limits: The site you use will prevent you from gambling after a certain amount of time. You will not be able to use the site, and sometimes it will prevent you from logging in.
- Betting Limits: Players can set a maximum amount for bets and how often they can make a wager.
- Self-Exclusion: Adding your name to a self-exclusion list will keep you from being able to sign up to a gambling platform from anywhere from a month to years. However, a permanent WV exclusion list will prevent you from gambling in the state indefinitely.
Problem Gambling Resources
The WVLC works with gambling platforms to help people recognize when they might be having a gambling problem. In addition, they help ensure that players know about support organizations that can help them. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, the following options are available:
- Gambling Screening Tools: There are several online tools to help you determine if you have a problem. The Brief Biosocial Gambling Screen (BBGS) was designed to help people decide professional help for their gambling behavior. Or you can use the NORC Diagnostic Screen for Gambling Problems. This self-test is based on the DSM5 and will help you to evaluate your gambling behavior.
- The National Council on Problem Gambling: This helpline is a non-profit organization that serves people suffering from problem gambling. It coordinates various services and support groups, and First Choice Health Systems fund it. You can get in contact with them by calling or texting the number 1-800-522-4700. Gamblers can also chat with someone at ncpgambling.org/chat.
- Gamblers Anonymous: GA is a support group where members talk about their struggles across the US. You can find a local meeting in West Virginia on their website.
- West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources: This state organization is responsible for health and addiction services. It supplies information and support for those who need help with their gambling behavior.
- The Problem Gamblers Help Network of West Virginia: The West Virginia Legislature created this program to identify and provide services to problem gamblers and those close to them. The WVLC funds the program, and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources administers it.
- Self-exclusion: The WVLC has self-exclusion lists for all gambling platforms in the state. By filling out a form, you can add yourself to the index for one of the following exclusion periods: one month, six months, one year, five years, ten years, or indefinitely.
Land-based Gambling Available in the State
West Virginia is home to five land-based gambling locations, all of which operate legally with a license from the WVLC.
The Casino Club at the Greenbrier
101 Main Street West, White Sulphur Springs, WV 24986
In 2009, it went through a significant restructuring, which included a full-fledged casino. This location features a full-fledged casino with over 200 slot machines and a poker room. It is also a haven of old Southern charm; the Greenbrier has something to offer everyone. Whether you are looking for a spa day, a casino night, or both, The Club has something for everyone.
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
750 Hollywood Drive, Charles Town, WV 25414
Charles Town Races & Casino is a place that draws in millions of visitors each year. There are over 120 days of live horse racing held at the venue, including 20 stakes races. This year, the casino also features a full slate of table games and a poker room. In addition, the resort features a variety of entertainment venues, including a comedy club and an entertainment venue that features music all year round.
Mardi Gras Casino & Resort
1 Greyhound Drive, Cross Lanes, WV 25313
The Cross Lanes Racetrack and Casino in West Virginia is now part of Delaware North, a leading hospitality company that has acquired several properties. The move comes as the facility prepares to expand its operations.
With the number of tracks remaining in the US decreasing, Mardi Gras is doing its part to keep the sport going. This includes offering simulcast races that are held every week. In addition, the Mardi Gras Casino & Resort features a full-scale gaming floor with over 900 slot machines and various table games. It also has a poker room and a race track.
Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort
1420 Mountaineer Circle, New Cumberland, WV 26047
If horse racing is your gambling activity of choice, some of the best horses in the country run at this New Cumberland Racetrack. The venue is home to the West Virginia Governor’s Cup and the West Virginia Derby. Bob Baffert is one of the trainers who visited the winner’s circle at Mountaineer Racetrack. Aside from the racing, the company also became the first to offer slot machines in the US.
In addition to various gaming machines, this establishment also has a poker room and several tournament games. It also has a video poker room. The resort features a sizable 354-room hotel. It also has a spa, a fitness center, and a pool. The entertainment venue features a 4,000-seat capacity.
Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack
1 South Stone Street, Wheeling, WV 26003
Wheeling Island is a beautiful place to visit; its history dates back to 1866. The facility first opened in 1937 as a horse track. In 1976, it transitioned from horses to greyhounds. Currently, it is one of the few dog tracks in the country that can offer simulcast racing. Wheeling Island features a full range of gaming options, including more than 1,100 slot machines. It also has a non-smoking poker room.
Is Online Gambling Legal in West Virginia?
Yes, West Virginia legalized all online gambling in 2019. Players can gamble from their desktops or on a mobile device.
What Types of Online Gambling are Legal in West Virginia?
In West Virginia, online sports betting, casino betting, +DFS betting, and poker are all legal.
Can I Use My West Virginia Online Gaming Accounts in Other States?
You can access your WV account from other states, but you will not be able to play games or wager on sports. However, if the platform you use is licensed in another state, they may allow you to use the same account at their location.
I am Traveling to West Virginia. Can I Set Up My Account Before I Arrive?
Yes, you can sign up from any location. However, we recommend creating your account before getting to WV. Doing this will be less stressful since your identification documents are at hand. You also do not have to spend your vacation time waiting for the platform to verify your identity. So, once you get to West Virginia, all you can do is just make a deposit and play. Check out our review for an easy-to-follow sign-up guide.
Can I Play on West Virginia Online Gambling Sites if I am Visiting the State?
Yes, you do not have to be a resident to gamble on a WV site. You just need to be within the state’s borders with your location services on to be able to gamble.
What is the Minimum age to Gamble Online in West Virginia?
The legal age to gamble in West Virginia is 21 for most forms of gambling. This includes sports betting, poker, and casino gambling. The age limit for the lottery is 18 years and above.