Online gambling in West Virginia is just about as comprehensive as anyone could want it to be. There are no tribal casinos in the state, which is a rarity across most of America. But that hasn’t stopped it from becoming one of the most prolific gambling states in the country.
With horse racing, greyhound racing, and both retail and online options for poker, sports betting, and casino gaming, if there is a way to place a legal wager, West Virginia has it.
In this guide we’ll give you an overview of online gambling in West Virginia and provide a wealth of information on what’s available.
West Virginia supports and promotes responsible gambling.
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice never actually signed HB 2934 - the bill that legalized online gaming in the state in many forms. But he didn't veto it either, instead opting to let the bill become law by legislative vote.
His action (or inaction in this case) means that online poker, online casino gaming, online sports wagering, and expansion of racetrack casino gaming and video lottery games, are now a reality in the Mountain State.
Horse and greyhound racing in the Mountain State go back to 1931. They are also extremely popular today, even despite dog tracks falling out of favor in much of the rest of the country. For more than 50 years, this was the only type of gambling allowed anywhere in the state.
In the 1980s, however, the attitudes toward gambling in the region began to change when lawmakers added both legalized bingo and a state-run lottery. Legalized video lottery machines followed in the 1990s.
Casino gaming, which included table games and poker rooms, was added to the gambling mix in the early 2000s. And in 2018, legalized sports betting became the gambling cause du jour.
West Virginia passed its law legalizing sports wagering in March of 2018. That was when the Supreme Court removed the roadblocks of the federal government with its favorable ruling that May. The very first live and legal sports wagers in West Virginia were placed that August.
The first mobile apps hit the West Virginia market one year later, and full and unfettered sports betting was off and running.
West Virginia has been one of the faster states to respond to the changing trends of sports betting and the continually evolving legal landscape. Live betting was taking place just three months after the Supreme Court gave the power back to the states.
The first mobile betting apps were launched in the state less than two months after online sports wagering was legalized in 2019,
For a small state with less than two million residents, they have embraced sports betting from the start.
Each of the five operating casinos in the state is allowed by law to have three online partners. So the market could include as many as 15 online sportsbooks in the future. As of now, these are the online sportsbooks that have current operations.
The other casinos in the state all operate retail sportsbooks but have had mixed results in getting out a mobile app. Mardi Gras Casino and Wheeling Island launched an app through BetLucky.com, but then they had to suspend operations in 2019 as the betting app was shuttered.
As for the mobile apps operating in the state, it is worth noting that not all mobile sportsbooks are available on iOS, and a separate locator app may be required for online access.
Unlike some other states, regulations pertaining to online gambling in West Virginia allow betting on all college sports that involve local colleges and universities. This means that you will always be able to place bets on West Virginia and Marshall football.
You can also bett on all NCAA sporting events taking place in West Virginia. So if the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown serves as a neutral site for the NCAA Tournament, all of those games would be available for wagering.
However, West Virginia does not allow any wagering on high school sports, which has become the industry standard.
The types of wagers that you can place on those sporting events is also in line with the standards being set across the country. All of the standard types of bets are legal and available, including the very popular in-play wagering.
Also called live betting or in-game betting, these are bets placed on sporting events already in progress. There are quarter and halftime bets, multiple buyout options, and as the score of the game and time remaining changes, so do the odds and points spreads.
The easiest of all bets, the moneyline is just a straight win/loss wager. Take the underdog and get paid more. Bet on the favorite and win a little less.
Instead of the odds you play with moneyline bets, these bets use a point spread to separate the favorite from the underdog.
This is a bet on the total combined points scored for both teams, and you take either over or under the posted line. That's why it's also known as an over/under bet.
A series of small bets that, when combined into one large bet, becomes a parlay. If each individual bet wins, the parlay wins, and usually pays off big. But if just one bet loses, the entire parlay is a loser.
Similar to a parlay in that you play a series of small bets. But unlike with a parlay, each bet plays its own odds and pays off if it wins.
Proposition bets are bets that take place inside regular game play and are particularly popular during special events, like the Super Bowl. They can involve game props, like the opening coin flip; team props, like the first team to score; and individual props, like which quarterback throws the most touchdown passes.
These are bets on events that have yet to take place, like betting on the winner of next year's World Series, NBA Finals, or French Open.
First impressions can be deceiving at times. West Virginia is often thought of as being a conservative state. And the stereotype is that conservative politically means the people will be conservative when it comes to legalized gambling.
This is not the case in West Virginia.
Horse racing in the state dates back to 1931. Real-money bingo got its start in 1980. There was a state lottery by 1984. In 1994 West Virginia legalized video lottery terminals at racetracks statewide.
Those video terminals expanded to bars in 2001. And with the legalization of casino table games in 2007, by 2008, most of the tracks in the state had opened up partner casinos.
Bills in 2017 and 2018 set on legalizing online casino gaming failed, but in 2019 the legislation finally passed. Along with the sports betting that became legal a year earlier, online gambling in West Virginia was now legal to offer customers every type of real-money gaming available.
After the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Act was passed in 2019 and Governor Jim Justice allowed it to become law when his veto window had passed, the West Virginia Lottery Commission - the regulatory body for all things gambling in the state - began to set out rules for the new industry.
Each of the five casinos in the state could pay $100,000 for a license that would give them the right to launch up to three online sites that offered online slot machines, online table games, and online poker. Along with the $100,000 fee for the license, software providers are required to pay a $10,000 fee. The tax rate on all online gambling revenue was set at 15%.
The online casinos that are currently in development and expected to open in West Virginia include:
One of the first on the scene in other states has been DraftKings. Given that it is a partner with Penn National, the owner of the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, the fit is natural. DraftKings has been a huge success in neighboring Pennsylvania, and West Virginia customers will be lucky to have it leading the way in their state.
FanDuel is in a partnership with The Greenbrier and currently runs its on-site sportsbook and online sportsbook through that license. The FanDuel casino brand is newer to the market, but has received high marks in Pennsylvania, and is a shoo-in to open an online casino in West Virginia.
Another partner of The Greenbrier, BetMGM currently operates an online sportsbook through The Greenbrier's license. The BetMGM brand has online casinos in several other states, is one of the most recognizable names in the gambling industry, and since each license comes with the opportunity to open three skins,
BetMGM and FanDuel can co-exist as partners of the same retail casino.
PokerStars doesn't have an existing relationship with a land-based venue like the other three online casinos do. But when you consider how aggressive The Stars Group has been in putting the PokerStars casino and poker room brand into other states, it would be surprising if they don't also end up in West Virginia.
William Hill operates the retail sportsbook at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort. It does not have an online sportsbook at the moment, but that doesn't mean that William Hill isn't looking at the possibilities of an online casino.
They are big, experienced, and innovative, and if there is a market for them in West Virginia, it is a certainty that they will fill it.
All online gambling in West Virginia is tightly regulated, and all casino games will have to be approved by regulators before being offered. That said, we can expect the following to be available at online casinos just as they are at traditional land-based venues.
Go inside any casino and you are assaulted by the sights and sounds of hundreds of slot machines. They are popular the world over, and they will become the majority of the online gaming offerings in West Virginia.
The most popular of the card table games is a staple of any online casino. Blackjack is also one of the easiest table games to learn, meaning that it appeals to all levels of experience.
Another easy game to understand and simulate online, roulette will become a popular online offering.
Available at all West Virginia retail casinos, expect to see Three Card Poker also offered online.
Another popular poker variation, Pai Gow is sure to be available on most online casino websites.
Video Poker machines are some of the most popular on the floor of a retail casino, offering a wide variety of poker playing options. Online, you won't find as many options, but the more popular - like Jacks or Better and Draw Poker - are sure to be approved.
Live dealer games have become exceedingly popular at online casinos around the country, but they are expensive to set up and run. For that reason, there is likely to be a lag before they are offered in West Virginia.
Online poker is now legal in West Virginia, as it was included in the bill that passed in 2019. But with lower profit margins for the casino operators, it is likely to be the last thing to go live. So don't expect to play real-money online poker until after online casino gaming is up and running.
Sweepstakes poker, which can be played through sites like Global Poker, is legal and currently available.
It doesn't matter if you're on a sportsbook website or app or signing up through a future online casino - setting up an account is easy.
In order to set up an account for online gambling in West Virginia, you will be asked to provide the following basic information:
You will choose your username and password at the time you register.
If your name, address, and social security number isn't enough to establish your identity, you may be asked to upload a recent utility bill. In some cases, photo identification may be required.
As much as you've done at this point to prepare yourself for online gambling in West Virginia, you still need to take one final step, and that is to deposit money into your account. West Virginia sportsbooks and casinos provide a wide number of options to get this done.
One note on using a credit card to put funds into your account. Despite its popularity, many banks will prevent you from making a payment to a gambling site. Or if they allow it, they treat it as a cash advance and charge an extra fee. We recommend to always check with the issuing bank before making any deposits.
Withdrawal options are usually a reversal of your method of deposit, such as bank transfer or using any of the above e-wallets. If this isn't possible, withdrawals will be sent by eCheck or personal check. Those options will, of course, result in a several-day delay for processing.
The state has legalized almost all types of legal online gambling. Sports betting, casino gaming (which includes slot machines and table games), and online poker are legal. However, it is important to know that it is also regulated, meaning that only licensed operators may offer online gambling.
The state is home to five retail casinos, and only those five – with the proper license – can offer any of the available online gambling options.
There are only two requirements to be eligible to gamble online in West Virginia. First, you must be at least 21 years old. And second, you must be inside the state when placing wagers.
You do not need to be a West Virginia resident, but you must physically be within the state lines. This will be confirmed by your IP address on your home computer or the geolocation technology inside your mobile device.
At the moment, this is unknown, although it is likely in the future. Making poker viable is all about having enough customers online at the same time to create games and tournaments. Because of West Virginia’s relatively small population compared to neighboring Pennsylvania, it may not be able to fill poker rooms on its own.
An interstate agreement that involves a shared pool with other states would help solve this problem. Delaware is one such small state that has successfully gone this route.
Yes, it does. The Problem Gamblers Help Network of West Virginia is funded directly by the West Virginia Lottery and offers a 24-hour helpline.
The West Virginia Gaming and Racing Association requires its member casinos and racetracks to follow a set of guidelines designed to prevent the financial harm of their customers. The rules they must follow also support finding help for any customers who need it.
West Virginia also supports self-exclusion lists. By sending a written request to the West Virginia Lottery Commission, a customer can ask to be banned from entering any of the state’s gambling locations and online sites. Self-exclusion can last anywhere from one to five years, depending on the customer’s request.
If a player is struggling to identify if they do have a gambling addiction, specialists are available to help.
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