West Virginia now offers several forms of legal gambling to its citizens and visitors, including casino gambling, pari-mutuel wagering on horse and greyhound races, and the state lottery.
West Virginia sports betting launching soon
Additionally, in March 2018, state lawmakers passed the WV Sports Lottery Wagering Act, legalizing sports betting in the state. This law was passed pending a decision from the US Supreme Court or Congress allowing states to legally offer sports betting.
That decision was announced on May 14, 2018, with SCOTUS finding PASPA unconstitutional, clearing the way for West Virginia to begin offering legal sports betting.
Under provisions in the act, sports betting in the state is regulated by the West Virginia Lottery Commission and takes place at sportsbooks inside existing casinos.
In early August, the West Virginia Lottery Commission posted official sports regulations. Days later, it granted its first official sports betting licenses. It looks like the state is on track to launch sports betting in time for football season.
Penn National got the first sports betting license in the state. The company operates Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Raceway. The rumor is the company will partner with William Hill for its sports betting venture.
West Virginia has had pari-mutuel wagering on horse and greyhound races since The Charles Town Races first opened in December 1933. The West Virginia Racing Commission in Charleston oversees both the greyhound and horse racing industries.
The West Virginia Lottery was established in 1984 through a voter referendum and is run by the state government. It offers games including Hot Lotto, Powerball, Mega Millions, and scratch tickets.
The West Virginia Lottery is regulated by the West Virginia Lottery Commission, which also regulates slot machines, or Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs), at various locations across the state, including five casino gambling facilities.
The casinos feature VLTs that are regular video gaming devices regulated by the West Virginia Lottery Commission. The VLT’s must be set return a minimum of 80 percent to a maximum of 95 percent of all wagers. Games include slots, Blackjack, Keno, and video poker.
The state first authorized the operation of slots at racetracks in 1994 and that same year, Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort became the first racetrack in the United States to install slot machines and become a racino.
The state also allows bars and restaurants that serve alcohol to have up to five VLTs. Fraternal organizations may install up to 10 VLTs. The VLTs at bars, restaurants, and fraternal organizations are the same ones used at casino gambling facilities in the state.
All West Virginia casinos now offer table games in accordance with local referendums authorizing the installation of the games as far back as 2007.
Table games available include:
- Three Card Poker
- Pai Gow Poker
- Four Card Poker
- Caribbean Stud Poker
- Spanish 21
- Mississippi Stud
- Big 6 Wheel
Latest West Virginia legal gambling news
Virginia is a state without casinos, but the Pamunkey tribe plans to bring a big one with its new $700 million mega resort casino project.
After two incredibly narrow votes, a bill to define poker as a game of skill and bring tournament poker to the state of Virginia passed in the state Senate.
West Virginia legal gambling background
West Virginia has had legal gambling since 1933 when The Charles Town Races first opened with pari-mutuel wagering on horse races.
The West Virginia Lottery was established by a statewide voter referendum in 1984.
A decade later, in 1994, another a statewide voter referendum authorized the installation of Video Lottery Terminals at racetracks across the state. The VLTS include slots, video poker, Keno, and Blackjack games.
In 2001, the West Virginia legislature passed the Limited Video Lottery Act. This allowed a limited number of VLTs in bars, restaurants that serve alcohol, and fraternal organizations.
In 2007, the first county referendums authorizing table games at racetracks with VLTs was passed. The counties housing all five casino gambling facilities in the state have since passed referendums authorizing table games at the facilities.
In March 2018, the state passed the WV Sports Lottery Wagering Act, legalizing sports betting. SCOTUS rendered its decision on PASPA on May 14, 2018. With PASPA officially unconstitutional, West Virginia may begin offering sports wagering.
Land-based slots and table game options
|Property||Location||Number of Slots/Table games||Distance from Charleston||Distance from Huntington|
|The Casino Club at The Greenbrier||White Sulphur Springs, WV||320/37||119 miles||172 miles|
|Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races||Ranson, WV||2,500/75||321 miles||372 miles|
|Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort||New Cumberland, WV||1,525/36||218 miles||239 miles|
|Mardi Gras West Virginia Casino Resort||Cross Lanes, WV||1,000/30||12.5 miles||42 miles|
|Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack||Wheeling, WV||1,100/30||197 miles||205 miles|
Online gambling options
There are no online casinos in West Virginia. In fact, online gambling in West Virginia is a bit of a question mark with no state laws for or against it.
West Virginia social casino site options
West Virginians can play on the most popular social casino sites in the US. Double Down Casino, Big Fish, and Slotomania all offer apps allowing free play on Facebook or mobile devices. These apps offer players the action of a casino with no actual, money risked or gained.
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races owner Penn National Gaming has offered free play-money slot-style social casino games through its HollywoodCasino.com website and play4funnetwork.com site since 2015. The games are intended for use only by those 21 or older for amusement purposes only. No actual money or anything of value can be won.
West Virginia operator profiles
The Casino Club at The Greenbrier
Casino gaming, including slots and table games, was first permitted at The Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Springs through a local option referendum in November 2008. A temporary casino named The Tavern Casino opened on October 1, 2009. The permanent casino, The Casino Club at The Greenbrier opened on July 2, 2010.
State regulations permit only guests of the Greenbrier to visit the casino. However, guests may include persons taking a tour of the property or dining at the resort.
The casino now features 320 slots and 37 table games.
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races is a race track and casino just outside Charles Town. It is owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties and operated by Penn National Gaming. It features a six-furlong thoroughbred horse racing track. The casino has 2,500 slots and 75 table games.
Table games were permitted by a local referendum in 2009.
The facility changed its name from Charles Town Races & Slots to Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in 2010.
Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort
Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort is a thoroughbred racetrack and casino just outside New Cumberland. Eldorado Resorts owns and operates the facility. In 1994 it became the first racetrack in the United States to install slot machines and become a racino.
It now boasts 1,525 slots and 36 table games.
Mardi Gras West Virginia Casino Resort
Mardi Gras Casino and Resort is a casino just off the Cross Lanes exit on I-64.
In addition to slots and table games, the facility hosts live greyhound racing and betting on off-track greyhound and horse racing.
Previously known as Tri-State Racetrack and Gaming Center, it has had casino gambling since 2007. The casino has a poker room, 1,000 slots, and 30 table games.
Delaware North bought the property in March 2018. It owns the state’s other greyhound racing track at Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack.
Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack
Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack is a casino and greyhound racetrack located on Wheeling Island in the Ohio River.
Delaware North owns the property. It features 1,100 slots, 30 table games, poker, live greyhound racing, and off-track betting on greyhound and horse racing.
State legal environment
|Permitted/Offered?||Notes & Restrictions|
|Land-Based Gambling||Yes||Racinos, casinos, VLTs at licensed establishments, state lottery, pari-mutuel wagering, sports betting (pending)|
|Lottery||Yes||18 and up|
|Charitable or House-Based Gambling||Yes||Licensing through state lottery|
|Minimum Gambling Age||18 for lottery, 21 for VLTs and casino gaming|