Is Online Gambling Legal in West Virginia?
Yes. Starting from March 2019 when Bill 2234 was put up for vote, and passed with bipartisan support, West Virginia became the fifth US state to fully legalise placing bets on the internet. This marked an effective legalisation of gambling on any electronic device.
Unlike the majority of US states that are still considering whether to formally allow their residents to gamble online, this type of activity is clearly stipulated by law. The regulatory authority in charge of overseeing gambling activity on the internet is West Virginia Lottery Commission.
The only requirement residents of West Virginia have to meet before engaging in a gambling activity online is that they are at least 21 years of age.
Are Land-Based Casinos Allowed in West Virginia?
The answer is, again, yes. West Virginia has legalised land-based casinos in 2007, allowing its residents to gamble legally. The majority of casino games can be played legally, meaning that West Virginians don’t have to cross the state border to visit neighboring states to enjoy this type of entertainment.
Currently, there are five brick-and-mortar casinos in West Virginia:
- Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
- Casino Club at The Greenbrier
- Mountaineer Casino Racetrack
- Mardi Gras Casino & Resort
- Wheeling Island Casino Racetrack
Each of them offers dozens of table games, including blackjack, craps, roulette and baccarat, poker as well as a solid selection of classic one-armed bandits and more modern video slots.
Which Forms of Online Gambling Are Legal in West Virginia?
Online sports betting, all types of casino games, poker, and racehorse betting are all legal in West Virginia. Online sports betting was the first to launch in 2018, followed by the launch of online casinos in 2020.
However, the state hasn’t regulated online daily fantasy sports, bingo and lottery and residents of West Virginia who wish to engage in any of the aforementioned need to refer to licensed offshore gambling sites buy West Virginia Lottery tickets in person, from authorised dealers and, at the time of writing, there is no push to legalise either online lottery or bingo.
Can I Get in Trouble for Gambling in a West Virginia Online Casino?
No. Since online gambling activities were fully legalised in West Virginia in 2019, there is no concern with regard to engaging in online betting and gaming.
However, the state advises its residents to enjoy online casino entertainment exclusively at casinos that have a license to offer gambling services on the internet and refrain from visiting and depositing money with offshore-based casinos.
Currently, the only casinos allowed to operate online are the five land-based casinos, working in cooperation with selected, reputable online operators. Those properties are the only sites authorized to act as licensees for online gambling and each of them is eligible to give market access for up to three online sports betting partners and additional three for online casino, that is poker.
What is the Future of WV Online Gambling?
The future seems rather bright for WV online gambling ever since it was legalised in 2019.
One of the reasons for the introduction of online gambling in WV was a years-long decline of land-based casinos. Now that West Virginians can enjoy gambling activities online freely, it is expected that the revenue from gambling in the state can only go up, with the figure for 2020 standing at $435 million.
However, it remains unclear whether the state would increase the number of partners who are allowed to work with land-based and offer their services online, apart from three partners in online sports betting and another three in online casinos that are currently allowed.