Legal West Virginia Online Gambling, Poker & Casinos
It has taken some time, but West Virginia's gambling legislature is slowly beginning to ease its restrictions on residents. Since the debut of the West Virginia Lottery in 1986, the state has opted to legalize some aspects of gambling, notably horse and dog racing and gambling for charitable purposes.
Casino gaming is also permitted at the state's racetracks, along with pari-mutuel wagering at racetracks and off-track betting terminals.
Despite the fact that traditional casino gambling and poker is prohibited - except for guests of the Greenbrier Resort - the West Virginian economy benefits from gambling to the tune of $950 million per year.
West Virginia Gambling Laws - Summary and Look to the Future
At the time of writing, West Virginia's penal code states it is illegal for operators within the state to offer online gambling to residents. However, this does not restrict West Virginians from logging into iGaming sites based overseas and playing there.
The US' Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) is still a restrictive force in states such as West Virginia, thwarting financial institutions from processing payments linked to online betting. However, plenty of iGaming brands accept e-wallets and alternative payment methods for their customers.
West Virginia Gambling Laws - A Brief History
- 1863 - State votes to outlaw all forms of gambling.
- 1870s - Pari-mutuel betting permitted statewide as an exception.
- 1984 - State-operated West Virginia Lottery established.
- 1994 - Operation of Class II casino games permitted.
- 2007 - List of legal games of chance and skill expanded to include traditional casino table games.
What Types of Gambling are Legal in West Virginia?
- Casino Gambling – There are 5 casinos in West Virginia and none of them are on Native American land. Several of the casinos are located at racetracks and all of them offer the most popular casino games.
- Sports Betting – Sports betting on horse racing and dog racing is legal in West Virginia and they have passed a recent bill to expand into other forms of sports betting. You can follow any developments in West Virginia sports betting here.
- Online Betting – The only online betting there is in West Virginia is on horse racing and most of the large sites take players from the state. West Virginia appears to be a likely candidate to expand into other forms of online gambling including online sports betting. You can follow all of the news regarding online betting in West Virginia here.
- Daily Fantasy – All of the major DFS sites like Fanduel and Draft Kings operate in West Virginia as they claim to be legal and to date the law makers in West Virginia haven’t challenged that opinion.
- Poker – Poker is legal in West Virginia and all 5 casinos have a poker room.
- Bingo – Bingo is legal in West Virginia no more often than every other day and the schedule of games needs to be registered with the state 60 days in advance.
- Lottery – The West Virginia Lottery is best known for its instant lottery machines in the form of Video Poker, Keno, and Slots that are widespread in bars across the state. These bars with video lottery machines are not allowed to advertise themselves as gambling establishments.