West Virginia Casinos & Gambling

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West Virginia is somewhat casino friendly compared to other states and has several gambling options. Today it is home to a total of four racino-style casinos as well as one exclusive 4 star, 5 diamond luxury casino resort. Currently the state offers pari-mutuel gambling, racetracks, lotteries, charitable gambling and commercial casinos which are each legal on the state level. Unlike some other states, it does not have any Native American casinos, but many of the gambling facilities here are “commercial” in nature. This means that they are able to offer both slots & electronic games as well as table games.

If you are unaware, West Virginia has a long and storied history in regards to horse racing. The first tracks opened here in the 1930s, around the same time that wagering on these races was made legal. It is home to the popular Charles Town Racetrack and Mountaineer Park which are among the most visited tracks in the country. West Virginia is most notable for being the first state in the U.S. to license racinos. Though its casino offering is fairly limited when compared to other states like Nevada, it does have a lot to offer.

West Virginia Casino Reviews

The Casino Club at The Greenbrier (West Sulphur Springs)
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races (Charles Town)
Mardi Gras Casino & Resort (Cross Lanes)
Wheeling Island Hotel, Casino & Racetrack (Wheeling)

Gambling in West Virginia

West Virginia land-based gambling industry is fairly large. The local gambling life revolves around four racetrack-casinos: Hollywood Casino, Mardi Gras, Mountaineer Casino and the Wheeling Island Casino-Hotel. Aside from pari-mutuel betting and casino-style games, West Virginia has some charitable gambling and a state-controlled lottery, which is very likely to begin selling tickets online later this year. West Virginia doesn’t have a regulated iGaming market, so local internet gambling enthusiasts usually play on offshore sites.

Casinos in West Virginia

In what is a bit of an oddity in the United States, West Virginia does not house any tribal casinos, but it offers plenty of other casino options.

There are five full-service casinos in West Virginia, with four of those also featuring racetracks, making the generally conservative state one of the most liberal in the country in its gambling laws and casino options.

The five casinos in the state are:

  • The Casino Club at The Greenbrier (White Sulphur Springs): 320 slot machines, 37 table games that include blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat, and three card poker, and a poker room
  • Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races (Charles Town): 2,500 slot machines, table games that include blackjack, craps, roulette, pai gow, baccarat, and Let It Ride, and a 16-table no-limit poker room open 24/7
  • Mardi Gras Casino and Resort (Cross Lanes): 900 slot machines, table games that include blackjack, craps, roulette, and three card poker, and a 24-table no-limit poker room with tournaments six days a week
  • Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort (New Cumberland): 1,525 slot machines, 36 table games that include blackjack, craps, roulette, Let It Ride, three card poker, and four card poker, and a poker room open 24 hours a day
  • Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack (Wheeling): 1,100 slot machines, table games that include blackjack, craps, and roulette, and a nine-table poker room open 24 hours a day

You must be at least 21 years old to play at any of these West Virginia casinos.

In both 2017 and 2018, a bill was introduced in the West Virginia legislature that would allow the five physical casinos to offer online casino gaming. The bill managed to remain in committee a little longer in 2018, but it still went down to defeat.

For the time being, there are no legal online casinos in West Virginia.

West Virginia Sportsbooks & Sports betting

Sports betting is legal in West Virginia, and all five casinos in the state are now allowed to launch a sportsbook and accept sports wagers.

So far, two of those casinos have opened sportsbooks – The Greenbrier, which teamed up with FanDuel, and the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town, which partnered with William Hill US to handle its sportsbook.

Both sportsbooks are also working on their mobile apps that will be available to anyone in West Virginia and are expected to go live soon.

Two other casinos run by Delaware North – Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras – also have plans to open sportsbooks, but those launches have been delayed.

When it’s all said and done, there should be easy and legal access to all kinds of sports betting for everyone in the state.

You must be 21 to place a sports bet.

Fantasy sports gambling

While there no laws in West Virginia specifically address the legality of daily fantasy sports, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said in 2016, “We read state law to prohibit betting on games decided at least predominantly by chance.” Fantasy sports, he added, “are determined predominantly by skill, knowledge, and athletic performance.”

Ever since that statement, all DFS providers have been operating in the state comfortably, and now that all sports betting is legal and growing, the chances of West Virginia restricting access to DFS are very slim.

Animal racing

Horse racing is legal in West Virginia, and live races can be attended at the following venues:

West Virginia is one the few remaining states where live greyhound racing remains available. Such events are held at:

All four of these racecourses, as well as the Casino Club at The Greenbrier, offer year-round horse and greyhound simulcast wagering from across the country.

You must be at least 21 to place a wager on a horse or greyhound race.

West Virginia Poker Games

If you want to play legal poker in West Virginia, each of the state’s five casinos offers a full-service poker room open 24 hours a day. They all host daily, weekly, and monthly tournaments.

The same piece of legislation that would legalize online casinos would also lift the ban on online poker rooms in the state. So, while there is no legal online poker in West Virginia at the moment, that is likely to change in the coming year.

Lottery

The West Virginia Lottery has been around since 1984 and is a charter member of the Multi-State Lottery Association – the group that created the huge jackpots of Powerball and Mega Millions.

Along with scratch-off games and video lottery terminals located at a number of restaurants and bars, the West Virginia Lottery offers the following draw games:

  • Daily 3
  • Daily 4
  • Cash 25
  • Keno Bonus
  • Hot Lotto
  • Lotto America (multi-state)
  • Mega Millions (multi-state)
  • Powerball (multi-state)

Winning tickets must be redeemed within 180 days.

You must be at least 18 to purchase a lottery ticket, but you can gift a lottery ticket and its winnings to a person under the age of 18.

Bingo

As with most states, West Virginia allows non-profit organizations to acquire a license to host fundraising bingo games. License holders are required to file quarterly financial reports as well as annual financial reports within 30 days of the expiration of their yearly license. The total prize value of a single bingo event cannot exceed $10,000.

You can find a regular bingo game in more than 80 West Virginia cities.

Unless you are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, you must be at least 18 years old to play.

West Virginia Real Money Online Casinos

West Virginia gambling laws make it clear that it’s illegal to participate in live games of chance that involve real money unless the operator has been licensed by the state, but the relevant regulations aren’t very specific when it comes to determining whether this rule applies to online gambling or not. None of the West Virginia-based online gamblers have been charged with unlawful gambling so far, so the local courts didn’t have a chance to issue a clear interpretation of the current laws.

As a result, most offshore sites’ customers aren’t even aware of how ambiguous their legal situation actually is and most experts agree that playing on those sites is very unlikely to put you in trouble. West Virginia residents have multiple quality iGaming platforms to choose from, but finding them among all the mediocre sites might prove to be rather difficult for an inexperienced gambling enthusiast. If you want to make your life easier, simply follow a few simple rules when conducting your research.

If you’re looking for a poker site, try to go exclusively for the ones that attract a lot of traffic. High-traffic poker networks give you access to 24/7 cash games and tournaments, which simply aren’t available with smaller sites. If you’re interested in online sports betting, you should always look for multiple offers, as you need to compare the prices and event coverage in order to get the most bang for your buck each time you place a wager.

Finally, if you’re interested in online casinos, you should pay close attention to the game selection, available bonuses, and promotions. If you don’t want to go through all the trouble of conducting this kind of research yourself, feel free to pick one of the sites listed here.

West Virginia Online Gambling FAQ

How Do I Get Started?

Setting up an iGaming account doesn’t really require a lot of effort once you know which site you want to join. Your first step should be to actually register your account. Once that’s out of the way, you should verify your account, make the first deposit and that’s it – you should be ready to get some real money gambling action.

How Do I Get My Money if I Win?

The funds collected on your gambling account are at your disposal 24/7, almost like in the case of a standard e-wallet. If you need a withdrawal, all you need to do is open the cashier menu and place a request, which should then be handled within less than 48 hours. Most sites handle payments using bank wire transfers, so all in all the entire operation should take about 14 days to complete.

What is the minimum age to gamble online in West Virginia?

You need to be at least 18 in order to play on West Virginia-facing iGaming sites.

How do I open an account?

You have to submit your basic personal information including name and billing address via the on-site registration form. Please note that you’ll also have to verify your account by submitting a scan or photo of an ID document in order to play for real money.

Where can I open my account from?

You can open an iGaming account from anywhere in the United States.

From where can I access West Virginia online gambling sites?

West Virginia-friendly sites won’t block your connection attempts as long as you remain within the borders of the United States, but you have to keep in mind that states like Washington or Utah have harsh anti-iGaming laws, so you should avoid playing for real money while you’re visiting them.

Where can I familiarize myself with the official regulations over gambling in West Virginia?

If you’re looking for more information on the local gambling laws, you should read Section 61 of the West Virginia Code.

How do I deposit to my online gambling account?

The most common payment method is to make a standard Visa/MasterCard credit card payment.

How do I withdraw my winnings?

Most sites give you two options to choose from traditional wire transfer and check by courier.

Is my money safe?

Your money should as safe as with an official financial institution if you stick to the sites listed here. Nevertheless, you should be very careful when dealing with iGaming sites that you haven’t researched yet, as there are quite a few dishonest operators looking for opportunities to scam inexperienced US gamblers out of their hard-earned money.

What body regulates gambling in West Virginia?

Most issues pertaining to regulated gambling are handled by the West Virginia Lottery.

History of Gambling in West Virginia

Legal gambling laid somewhat dormant for many years in West Virginia, with the only option being horse-betting at the many racetracks located here. It wasn’t until 1994 when legislature was passed that would in turn legalize and regulate gambling in the form of electronic games. This led to many of the racetracks expanding to also include on-site casinos. The casinos then started featuring electronic games like video poker and slot machines. This was the case for over a decade, until more legislature was passed that would enable table games to be offered.

Though the casinos saw a large spike in revenues as a result of electronic games, they were still missing out on huge opportunities related to table games. Knowing this, additional legislature was passed that would now allow table games to be offered in 2007. They would still have to be approved on the local level, however. This led to a variety of popular games being added in the following years. Games offered at West Virginia casinos today include blackjack, three card poker, baccarat, pai gow, let it ride and many others. Poker rooms were also added to many casinos around the same time.

Though most of the casinos in West Virginia now offer poker rooms, you’ll be hard pressed to find “card rooms” here. There are currently no facilities that exclusively offer poker and other table games. Each of the five casinos in the state offer electronic games in conjunction with table games and poker rooms. This can be somewhat disappointing if you are a poker player, but there are still a variety of options available in the way of cash games and tournaments.

West Virginia is home to several racinos, which were first licensed in the 1990s. Unlike most other states whose racinos do not include hotels and resorts, you will be pleased to know that the facilities here do offer these amenities. The casinos in West Virginia are almost all located on sites that were first host to racetracks; mainly thoroughbred courses. This comes with one exception however, and that is the “minor” and exclusive casino located at The Greenbrier Luxury Resort. This casino is different in that it only offers its casino to hotel guests and is described as being “tasteful.” Needless to say, you will not be disappointed with the casino offering in the state.

As we briefly mentioned above, the racinos in West Virginia are different than those in most other states. A large portion of the casinos here also have on-site hotel resorts, which is fairly uncommon for racetrack casinos. This is a bonus, considering that if you are a consistent player, you can usually get your hotel stay comped. Because the casinos here were built on former horse racing tracks, they do also offer simulcast wagering as well as live horse betting. This means you are able to either bet on other races across the country, or watch live races as they happen.

The resorts here offer up more than just hotel rooms as well. Many will include amenities like pools, conference rooms, nightclubs and large spas among other things. This makes them a great place to vacation and relax if you live nearby. Many of the casinos in West Virginia are within a short drive from large cities in places like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Washington D.C. and Kentucky.

The casinos within West Virginia are host to a variety of slot machine games as well as table games. This includes all the most popular machines, from IGT and Bally slots to live table games like blackjack, baccarat, craps, roulette and many poker variations. Unlike some other states, the table games are now able to offer live dealers, cards, dice and chips. This is different from some other states, which merely offer video table game machines. Poker rooms are also offered at most West Virginia casinos, though there are no exclusive card rooms.

Gambling Rules in West Virginia

As has become commonplace for resort casinos in most states, the legal age to gamble in West Virginia is 21 years old. This includes horse betting and pari-mutuel gambling while the age to play the lottery in just 18. You must be 21 to consume alcohol at the casinos here, and alcohol is sometimes comped, though it will depend on the specific casino you are visiting.