West Virginia Casinos, Gambling, and Law Regulations: An Overview

West Virginia is said to be one of the top gambling-friendly states in the US! For a gambling fan who lives in West Virginia, there should be no issues when it comes to available gaming options. Land-based casinos and similar establishments are not many but have all you need. The other games of chance are present as well, but those won’t interest you much when we tell you the good news and the reason why West Virginia will soon be the real gambling paradise.

The vital part of the West Virginia gambling offer is something that many other states still lack — legal online gambling. The government of the Mountain State decided it is time to give the green light to the main forms of online gambling. These include online casinos, online poker, and online sports betting.

If you cannot wait to read all about online gambling in West Virginia, feel free to jump right to that part. For those of you interested in finding out more about the West Virginia law overview and legal forms of gambling, we’ve prepared the latest information. So, let’s get down to it right away.

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Gambling Laws in West Virginia — The Law Overview

West Virginia offers almost all forms of gambling, probably due to not so clearly defined gambling laws that contain a lot of loopholes. According to Chapter 29, Article 25 of the West Virginia Code, gambling is defined as:

“betting or wagering money or another thing of value on any game of chance or knowingly giving money or something of value for another to bet on any game of chance.”

For those who decide to break the law, penalties for gambling start from a small fine of $5, over a $100 fine for betting at table games or slots, up to a fine ranging between $100 and $1,000 with 2–12 months in jail for keeping a gaming table or machine. The ones who get an idea to run an illegal lottery on their own will also face possible prosecution.

West Virginia has, despite the laws and strict penalties, allowed many gambling forms and assigned regulatory bodies to oversee their operation.

Racetracks, together with pari-mutuel betting, have been monitored by the West Virginia Racing Commission since 1931. In 1994, the racetracks got updated with Video Lottery Terminals which was supported by the Racetrack Video Lottery Act.

One of the gambling forms that West Virginia doesn’t allow is social gambling. Namely, keeping gaming tables or devices at home, allowing them on your property, or covering the ongoing gambling activities is all illegal.

Now when you are familiar with the official gambling laws, let’s see what you can bet on in the Mountain State.

Are There Any Forms of Gambling Allowed in West Virginia?

West Virginia allows almost every gambling form you can think of. Let’s explore your options and help you decide which one is most suitable for you.

First, the racing industry is there, of course, ready to offer live betting on horse and dog racing. Each racetrack is also allowed to own a racebook. Off-track betting companies, which many consider an online version of horse race betting, have permission to offer betting over the Internet and via mobile apps.

Along with the racetracks, there came a video lottery. In West Virginia, video lottery, together with video poker and slots, can be found even in bars within the state borders. The law also states that these games must respect the payout from 80% to 95%. However, for every win, there is a 52% tax rate. An interesting thing about places offering video lottery is that they cannot be registered under a name inspired by gambling terms.

If the video lottery machines happen to be at the state’s racetracks, the tax rate is 49%. Also, here you can play table games, but you will have to pay a 35% tax on your winnings. Games like roulette, craps, and live poker can all be found at these establishments.

A state couldn’t say that it’s a gamblers’ paradise without the state lottery. The state lottery in West Virginia offers both scratch-off and lotto tickets. You can choose between intrastate and interstate lotto games, except for keno which is not provided there.

For the lovers of bingo and raffles, the state said yes to Charities and public organizations. There are some rules that these organizations have to follow, like organizing the games no more than every other day, excluding weekends. They also require registration that can be done at least sixty days before the event.

When it comes to casinos, they exist together with the racetracks. There is one historical casino resort too, but it is reserved only for the guests of the resort.

Is Online Gambling Allowed in West Virginia?

From May 2018, the residents of West Virginia have been celebrating, as the state decided to put a stop to the federal ban and legalize the standard online gambling activities. That same month, the government passed the West Virginia Sports Lottery Wagering Act. Although there are still rules and regulations to be written, players from the Mountain State can relax, as they know that the online gambling future is bright.

The first establishment to acquire a betting license was Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. The bets started taking place in August 2018 and spread to other local casinos by the end of the year.

While sports betting had its moment of glory in 2018, 2019 was a year for online casinos. The West Virginia legislature finally approved of the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act in March 2019. This act was created to permit legal online casino and poker options to the state via the local land-based casinos. The bill went into effect in June, but the regulatory framework for online gambling forms is scheduled to be finished at the beginning of 2020.

Despite the fact that the legal start of online gambling is just around the corner, some players cannot wait for it and choose to visit offshore casinos. Although the West Virginia law does not explicitly mention gambling at offshore casinos, it doesn’t mean that it approves of it either. Therefore, the decision is up to you whether you will engage in such activities.

If you decide not to, there are some great places where you can practice your gambling skills in West Virginia until the state sets the rules and regulations for legal online gambling.

Where to Gamble in West Virginia?

The Greenbrier

The Greenbrier is one and only historical casino resort in West Virginia. It offers absolutely everything for an exciting mini-vacation. All the games you like are there, spread over the large casino venue. Hotel rooms range from classic ones to historical suites. For every meal of the day, you can choose one from the various dining options.

If you like golf, they have a course. They’ve got the inside one as well, in case the weather disappoints. For the perfect end of the day, there is a spa and spectacular massage to relax all the tension you’ve been carrying around. The resort is located at 101 Main Street West, White Sulphur Springs, WV 24986, and the only downside is that you must be a registered guest to be able to enter.

Hollywood Casino — Charles Town

At Hollywood Casino, you will have a feeling like you’ve got the leading role in a blockbuster movie. The casino will give you everything, from slots, poker, and table games, to sports betting. You can choose a Balcony Suite and have your morning coffee while admiring the surroundings of this exclusive establishment. Then, you can check out the racing schedule and place a bet or two, after which one of several dining options will make you try some of the delicious offers from their menu. Hollywood Casino regularly has different promotions for your convenience, so wait no more and hurry up to 750 Hollywood Dr. Charles Town, WV 25414.

FAQ

What types of gambling are available in West Virginia?

West Virginia offers almost all forms of gambling. You can choose from betting on horse and dog racing, lottery, charitable gambling, racetrack casinos and one historical casino resort.

Is online gambling allowed in West Virginia?

West Virginia passed the bill for legalizing online casino gambling and sports betting. The only thing missing is the legal framework which should be done in the first part of 2020.

What is the minimum gambling age for allowed forms of gambling in West Virginia?

The minimum gambling age in West Virginia is 18 for lottery games, bingo, and racing, and 21 for sports betting and casino-style games.

Where should players from West Virginia go to gamble legally?

West Virginia bettors can choose from racetrack casinos, a historical casino resort, and many bars that offer video lottery, together with other games.

Is betting on greyhound racing legal in West Virginia?

Yes, the racetracks in West Virginia offer betting on greyhound racing.