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.'"
Breaking down what is or isn't legal in West Virginia. Gambling Venues in West Virginia
Where to gamble in the state of West Virginia. The History of Gaming Laws in West Virginia
A brief history of West Virginia laws regarding gambling. The Furture of Gambling in West Virginia
What does the future of gambling look like in West Virginia?
More Gambling Laws in West Virginia
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:
- Twenty-one or blackjack
- 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:
- 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.
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
1 - Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort
1420 Mountaineer Circle
New Cumberland, WV 26047
2 - Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Racetrack
1 S Stone St
Wheeling, WV 26003
3 - Hollywood Casino & Inn at Charles Town Races
750 Hollywood Dr
Charles Town, WV 25414
4 - Mardi Gras Casino and Resort
1 Greyhound Dr
Cross Lanes, WV 25313
History of Gambling in West Virginia
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.