West Virginia Gambling Sites – A Guide to Gambling In West Virginia

West Virginia is a gambling-friendly state. You can find casinos, a lottery,
dog tracks, and practically all forms of gambling available in the state.

The future of West Virginia gambling sites also looks bright.

On this page, we offer a complete guide to the laws and situations related to
gambling in West Virginia.

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Online Gambling and West Virginia Law

  • Is Online Gambling Legal in West Virginia?
  • Can I Get Arrested for Gambling Online in West Virginia?
  • Is West Virginia Going to Legalize Online Gaming?
  • How Do I Choose a Safe and Quality Offshore Gaming Site?
  • Are Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in West Virginia?

Is Online Gambling Legal in West Virginia?

Online gambling is a gray area in West Virginia. Like most states, West
Virginia doesn’t have any laws that specifically talk about online gambling.

You can assume that the current gambling laws about land-based gambling can
be applied to online gambling as well, which would make betting on any game of
chance illegal.

Can I Get Arrested for Gambling Online in West Virginia?

Getting arrested for gambling online in West Virginia is unlikely.

We’ve yet to find a case where a West Virginia resident was arrested for
gambling online.

It’s illegal to run an internet casino in West Virginia, and you’ll be
arrested if you do so.

In fact, most law enforcement in the United States focuses on taking action
against providers, not customers.

Is West Virginia Going to Legalize Online Gaming?

West Virginia has been considering legalizing online gaming for a while now.
In early 2017, a bill was introduced in West Virginia in an attempt to legalize
and regulate online gaming.

The bill would allow currently-licensed gaming facilities, like the ones
found at the state’s four racetracks, to have an internet gambling license.

West Virginia is known as a gaming state, and it’s possible that we will see
West Virginia gambling sites in 2017 or 2018.

How Do I Choose a Safe and Quality Offshore Gaming Site?

  • Licensing – Find out what regulations the site has to meet in order to
    receive their license. Some areas have stricter regulations and restrictions
    than others.
  • Game Variety – Look at what games the site offers to ensure there’s enough
    variety to keep you entertained.
  • Deposit Options – Check to see what deposit options are available before
    signing up for the site to make sure there’s an option you’re comfortable using
    to deposit funds. At the same time, take a quick look at the cash-out options,
    because they aren’t always the same as the deposit choices.
  • Reviews – Research reviews from past and present members to get a feel for
    the legitimacy of the site and to learn about the good and bad of the site from
    the members’ point of view.

Are Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in West Virginia?

Yes, daily fantasy sports are legal in West Virginia.

Here’s what the ESPN website has to say about daily fantasy sports in West
Virginia:

“In a decision dated July 7, 2016, the West Virginia attorney general
concluded that: ‘West Virginia law does not prohibit the offering of or
participation in fantasy sports games, as they are defined in Senate Bill 529,
because state law prohibits only betting upon games decided predominantly by
chance.’ In reaching its decision, the West Virginia AG drew an analogy to
traditional sports betting, writing: ‘betting on sports is not something
predominately determined by chance, but rather by skill.'”

Also On This Page

More Gambling Laws in West Virginia

  • Casino Games (Legal)
  • Sports Betting (Pari-Mutuel Betting Only)
  • Race Betting (Pari-Mutuel Wagering Only)
  • Lottery (Legal)
  • Bingo (Charitable Gaming Only)
  • Social Gambling (Unclear)

Casino Games: Legal


Most casino games are found at the racetracks located in West Virginia.

Here’s what the West Virginia Lottery Racetrack Table Games says about
authorized and unauthorized games:

“The casino licensee shall not permit a table game to be played if the game
is not approved by the Commission.

The Commission shall authorize one or more variations of the following table
games to be played at the casino:

  • Baccarat
  • Twenty-one or blackjack
  • Poker
  • Craps
  • Roulette
  • Wheel of fortune
  • and Other table games
    expressly permitted by the Commission.

The Commission shall not authorize the following games to be played at the
casino:

  • Punchboard
  • Faro
  • Numbers ticket
  • Push card
  • Jar ticket
  • Pull tab

Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the West Virginia Lottery
Commission may license any casino to sell regular West Virginia Lottery games
authorized by W.Va. Code §29-22-1 et seq.”

The racetrack casinos are required to use a cashless system such as chips,
with the exception of video lottery games.

Here’s what the West Virginia state lottery website says about the video
lottery:

“In the state of West Virginia, Video Lottery is the legal use of player
interactive gaming machines similar to those commonly known as “slot” machines
in the casino industry. As of 1994, video lottery was approved, with restraints
set forth by law, at West Virginia’s four thoroughbred and greyhound racetracks.
The issue had to be approved by voters in the counties in which each track is
located.

In 2001, the West Virginia Legislature passed a bill allowing for a limited
number of video lottery machines in adult environments. It is referred to as the
“Limited Video Lottery Act.” The measure outlawed pre-existing “gray” or “poker”
machines and restricted the number of Limited Video Lottery terminals to no more
than 9,000. The environments in which they are permitted are classified as
adult-only based on the fact that they possess a Class A, Alcohol Beverage
Control Administration (ABCA) license and meet various other legal
requirements.”

Sports and Race Betting: Pari-Mutuel Wagering Only


Both greyhound and horse racing are legal in West Virginia, with pari-mutuel
wagering on the races allowed. Simulcast betting is also allowed.

Here’s what the West Virginia Code says about pari-mutuel betting:

“The pari-mutuel system of wagering upon the results of any horse or dog race
at any horse or dog race meeting conducted or held by any licensee is hereby
authorized if, and only if, such pari-mutuel wagering is conducted by the
licensee within the confines of the licensee’s horse racetrack or dog racetrack
and the provisions of section one, article ten, chapter sixty-one of this code
relating to gaming shall not apply to the pari-mutuel system of wagering in
manner and form as provided in this article at any horse or dog race meeting
within this state where horse or dog racing is permitted for any purse by any
licensee. A licensee shall permit or conduct only the pari-mutuel system of
wagering within the confines of the licensee’s racetrack at which any horse or
dog race meeting is conducted or held.”

West Virginia has two horse racing tracks and two greyhound racing tracks.

Lottery: Legal


West Virginia does have a state-regulated lottery.

Here’s what the West Virginia Lottery website says:

“West Virginia voters approved the Lottery Amendment to the State
Constitution on November 6, 1984 by a vote of 67% for the amendment. The West
Virginia Legislature passed the Lottery Act in April of 1985 and it was signed
into law that May by Governor Arch A. Moore, Jr.

West Virginia’s first instant tickets were sold on January 9, 1986 and more
than 1.5 million tickets were sold on that first day.”

Today the West Virginia Lottery sells over $1.1 billion every year, with more
than $520 million of that money going toward various things in West Virginia,
including schools, senior citizens, tourism, and state parks.

Here’s what the West Virginia Lottery website says about their games:

“The Lottery sells more than 40 different instant games a year, offers the
popular in-state online drawing games of Keno, Daily 3, Daily 4, and Cash 25,
offers the Multi-State Lottery games of Powerball®, Mega Millions® and Hot
Lotto, regulates limited video lottery, and regulates video lottery and table
games at the state’s four racetrack casinos and the Greenbrier Resort.”

Bingo: Charitable Gaming Only


Here’s what the West Virginia Charitable Gaming Laws says about bingo:

“The legislature, in recognition of the recreational enjoyment the people of
West Virginia receive from playing bingo and of the need charitable and public
service organizations have for a practicable way of raising funds, declares its
intent to grant the privilege of holding bingo games to those organizations
which qualify for a license as provided below.”

Only qualified organizations can get a license to hold bingo games. The
organizations that qualify include charitable or public service organizations.

Here’s the definition of charitable or public service organizations according
to West Virginia Charitable Gaming Laws:

“a bona fide, not for profit, tax-exempt, benevolent, educational,
philanthropic, humane, patriotic, civic, religious, fraternal, or eleemosynary
incorporated or unincorporated association or organization; or a volunteer fire
department, rescue unit or other similar volunteer community service
organization or association; but does not include any nonprofit association or
organization, whether incorporated or not, which is organized primarily for the
purposes of influencing legislation or supporting or promoting the campaign of
any candidate for public office.”

Here are the prizes that may be awarded and the limitation on prizes:

“during the period of a license the average total prizes awarded by a
licensee, or in the aggregate by two or more limited occasion licensees holding
a joint bingo occasion, for any bingo occasion held pursuant to an annual or
limited occasion license, may not exceed ten thousand dollars in value.

Prizes may be money or merchandise other than beer, nonintoxicating beer,
wine, spirits or alcoholic liquor as defined in section five, article one,
chapter sixty of this code. If the prizes are merchandise, the value assigned to
them is their fair market value at the time of purchase.”

Social Gambling: Unclear


Social gambling laws are unclear in West Virginia.

Here’s what the West Virginia Code says about gambling on games of chance:

“If any person at any place, public or private, bet or wage money or other
thing of value on any game of chance, or shall knowingly furnish any money or
other thing of value to any other person to bet or wage on any such game, he
shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less
than five nor more than three hundred dollars, and shall, if required by the
court, give security for his good behavior for one year, and in default of the
payment of such fine and the costs and the execution of such bond, if such bond
be required, shall be imprisoned in the county jail not less than ten nor more
than thirty days.”

Owning a gaming table or device and gambling on a game of chance are illegal,
but no laws in the West Virginia Code talk about games of skill, like poker,
being played in a social setting.

It’s common for low-stake poker games to take place at West Virginia homes,
and the law enforcement in West Virginia doesn’t seem interested in prohibiting
them.

Gambling Venues in West Virginia

West Virginia

    1) Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort

    1420 Mountaineer Circle

    New Cumberland, WV 26047

    (800) 804-0468

    2) Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Racetrack

    1 S Stone St

    Wheeling, WV 26003

    (304) 232-5050

    3) Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races

    750 Hollywood Dr

    Charles Town, WV 25414

    (800) 795-7001

    4) Mardi Gras Casino and Resort

    1 Greyhound Dr

    Cross Lanes, WV 25313

    (304) 776-1000

History of Gambling in West Virginia

1931

The West Virginia Racing Commission is created to oversee the racetracks and pari-mutuel betting at them.

1986

The West Virginia state lottery is legalized.

1994

The Racetrack Veideo Lottery Act is passed which allows Video Lottery Terminals to be places in ractracks. Video lottery terminals are allowed in bars today also.

2007

Table games are legalized at the four racetrack casinos in West Virginia.

2010

The fifth casino in West Virginia and only one without a racetrack is opened.

Additional Resources

The Future & Your Views

Overall, West Virginia is a gambling-friendly state. The casino and racetrack
establishments offer a range of casino games, slot machines, and pari-mutuel
betting on horse and greyhound racing. A state lottery and charitable bingo
games are also legal in the state.

West Virginia gambling sites with state-regulated poker or other casino games
could be a thing of the near future. With a bill currently in consideration to
legalize online gambling in West Virginia, it’s possible to see West Virginia
gambling sites within the next year.

Delaware has shown interest in partnering up with West Virginia if they
legalize online gambling in order to allow residents from their state to play on
each other’s state-regulated sites.