Online casinos are legal in West Virginia and have been live since July 2020, when DraftKings Casino opened its doors and paved the way for the competition to follow.
The process took over a year from the time that the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act became law on March 27, 2019 when Gov Jim Justice failed to veto the bill. Online casinos were not the first to go live, however: both DraftKings and FanDuel launched their sportsbooks in August 2019 and BetMGM did the same in January 2020.
The West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act also legalizes online poker, though no official news has been announced regarding when and which operators will be granted licenses to go live.
West Virginia Casino Sites and Apps
Online casinos in West Virginia must partner with a land-based casino within the state. Five land-based casinos exist, and two of them live partnerships with the following online casinos:
- DraftKings Casino was the first online casino to launch in July 2020 in partnership with Hollywood Casino Charles Town.
- BetMGM Casino went live in January 2021, partnering with The Greenbrier
- The three remaining casinos (Mountaineer Casinos, Mardis Gras Casino, and Wheeling Island) have yet to forge any online partnerships
Under state law, each land-based casino operator is allowed to do business with three online casinos, meaning 15 total licenses can be up for grabs. All online operators are subject to the same regulations as their land-based partners per the WV state lottery commission.
Of all casino operators, The Greenbrier appears to be taking the most aggressive approach. It also has both retail and online sportsbook partnerships with FanDuel Sportsbook, which went live in September 2018 and August 2019, respectively. Furthermore, Golden Nugget has announced plans to launch its online casino and sportsbook, and it too will partner with The Greenbrier when that time comes.
Other potential online operators that could enter the market in the future include:
- PokerStars/Stars Casino
- Individually Branded Online Casinos for Land-Based Entities (Hollywood Online Casino, Mountaineer Online Casino, Mardi Gras Online Casino, Wheeling Island Online Casino)
Mobile Gaming in West Virginia
Mobile gaming was the first of all forms of legal online gaming in West Virginia, starting with online sports betting. Retail sports betting launched in September 2018 with the FanDuel Sportsbook at The Greenbrier, and it was joined by the FanDuel Online Sportsbook WV on August 26, 2019, nearly five months after online gambling was legalized. Two days later, DraftKings launched its online sportsbook, and BetMGM became the third to market in January 2020.
Both FanDuel and BetMGM have partnerships with The Greenbrier, while DraftKings has a mobile sports betting partnership with Penn National’s Hollywood Casino at Charles Town.
Regarding mobile online casinos, DrafKings Casino also became the first to launch in July 2020, furthering its partnership with Hollywood Casino at Charles Town. BetMGM Casino then followed suit a month later, opening in August 2020 in partnership with The Greenbrier.
When West Virginia went live with mobile gaming, it became the fourth state to do so behind, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. Michigan has also since joined that group, making five total states where online casino gambling is legal within the United States.
West Virginia Online Casino Partnerships
All five of West Virginia’s land-based casinos are afforded three licenses to extend in partnership with online operators. These partnerships can also differ between sportsbooks, traditional casino games, and poker (when it goes live).
The following partnerships have already been formed:
Land-Based Casino Sportsbook Online Casino Online Poker
The Greenbrier FanDuel, BetMGM BetMGM N/A
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town DraftKings DraftKings N/A
Wheeling Island IGT/Betgenius N/A N/A
Mardi Gras IGT/Betgenius N/A N/A
Mountaineer William Hill N/A N/A
In June 2020, the WV Lottery opened applications for land-based casinos to apply for online licenses. As such, more partnerships are expected to form in the coming years until all 15 licenses have been filled.
WV Online Casino Bonuses
Bonus offers provide distinguishing ways for operators to create value and incentive for bettors. These offers change fairly often, so it is always best to check online casino websites in order to see what is currently available to you. Some common types of bonuses to look for at West Virginia online casinos include:
- Registration Bonuses/No-Deposit Bonuses: These are often bonus funds automatically credited to new players’ accounts once identity has been verified. Players are free to bet with these funds as they wish, but cannot withdraw any winnings until making a deposit.
- Deposit Bonuses/Welcome Bonuses:Deposit bonuses are offered at many casinos with a certain percentage match. One such form they can occur is in first-time deposit bonuses, which may match your amount deposited with as much as 100% match up to a certain amount. For example, a $500 deposit may result in your account having an additional $500 added to it for playing purposes.
- Reload/Match Bonuses:Another form of deposit bonus, reload bonuses are often offered periodically for existing users. They usually offer a certain percentage just the same as welcome bonuses, though potentially with less juicy % offers. These are also known as match bonuses because of the fact that a certain percentage of your deposit is being matched by the house.
- Free Spins: Another way for casinos to offer bonuses to their players is through free spins. When players deposit, they may be given a certain number of free spins on a specified slot machine with the idea that they are free to keep all winnings from those spins.
- Cash Back:Cash back offers give players a risk-free opportunity of sorts to gamble within a certain timeframe of making a deposit. For example, casinos may offer players one bet up to a certain amount (like $100 or $500) that will be reimbursed if the player loses the bet. Instead of a single bet, casinos may present this offer within a certain timeframe (such as 24 hours or 1 weeks’ time after making a deposit). Such refunds may come as direct cash deposits to your account, or they may be in site credit for future wagers.
- Loyalty Bonuses: Loyalty bonuses often come in the form of a frequent player reward program where players can redeem accrued points for cash or free spins. Player points may also count towards rewards at operators’ land-based partner locations.
- Refer-a-Friend Bonuses: Another form of loyalty bonus, refer-a-friend bonuses often give both the new and existing customer additional perks for bringing the casino new business.
Depositing Onto West Virginia Online Casinos
Numerous deposit options exist for online casinos in West Virginia in order to give players options and make funding their accounts as easy as possible. Here are a look at some methods players may have to choose from:
- Credit/debit cards
- Bank/wire transfer
- Cash at the casino cage
- E-Wallets like PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller
- Prepaid cards
- PayNearMe at outlets such as 7-Eleven
The most common form of depositing is through credit and debit cards, though not all banks allow funds for use on gambling sites. Even those that do may charge additional fees to do so, so check with your bank ahead of time if you wish to deposit using a card. Furthermore, know if other options are more preferrable for your situation, and if so, utilize them, as that’s why casinos have these options in the first place.
If you are looking to deposit using cash at a land-based casino cage, it is also recommended to call ahead and make sure the casino is accepting that form of deposit. Otherwise, PayNearMe is usually another reasonable cash deposit option.
Players who wish to withdraw can usually do so through the same method as their deposit, though they may be issued a paper check instead should other options be unavailable.
Types of Online Casino Games in WV
Online casinos in West Virginia provide players with nearly every game they would find inside a traditional, land-based casino. However, some exceptions do exist. Below is a list of electronic versions of approved casino games available to West Virginia players.
- Online Slots: It’s no secret slots are among the most popular games in any casino, given how much real estate they take up on a given casino floor. A wide array of different slot games from well-known manufacturers are available online, offering play at all stakes and with various payout structures, jackpot styles, and so on.
- Online Blackjack: Blackjack may be even more popular online than it is inside brick-and-mortar casinos, where it is often the most offered (and played) casino pit game. State law also mandates player-friendly rles for online blackjack, including the opportunity to double after splitting and that Blackjack must pay 3:2.
- Online Roulette: Another popular game for both online and traditional casino play, roulette can even be available online in traditional American roulette as well as European roulette, which only has one zero. Thus, online roulette may be more favorable for bettors who play the European version of the game, as only American roulette is available when playing at land-based casinos.
- Online Video Poker: Video poker is another popular game spread both in West Virginia online casinos and all other states that have legalized online gambling.
- Online Table Games: Other games such as three card poker, four card poker, mini baccarat, let it ride, and pai gow poker can also be found in many online casinos as well.
Online craps and all live dealer games cannot be played online. Live dealer games are a hybridized form of gambling for games such as blackjack, in which players may wager online and then watch a live, in-casino dealer carry out the rest of the hand rather than interact with a fully electronic system.
Regulations for Online Casinos in West Virginia
Several rules of note exist within the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act. According to the law, each of the state’s five land-based casinos can launch up to three online skins apiece for online slots, table games, sportsbooks, and poker.
Land-based operators may apply for a master iGaming license that enables them to enter into partnerships with online operators/software providers. This master license costs $100,000, and all subsequent software providers must also pay a $10,000 fee per room. The following operators are eligible for master iGaming licenses:
- The Greenbrier
- Hollywood Casino
- Mardis Gras Casino & Resort
- Wheeling Island
- Mountaineer Casino
By law, all out-of-state operators that wish to enter the market will have to enter into a partnership with one of the land-based casinos listed above. All partnerships must also be approved by the West Virginia Lottery Commission, which is the regulating body for the entire West Virginia casino industry. The state will also collects a 15% tax operators’ gross gambling revenue.
Online Poker in West Virginia
Online poker is also legal in West Virginia. However, no partnerships have been made yet between online operators and land-based casinos, and no news has been made as to an expected launch date for online poker in West Virginia.
West Virginia also has a population of just 1.79 million, the 38th-most populous state in the nation. When online poker does go live in the state, it will likely not have a great impact unless West Virginia joins the multi-state agreement that currently exists between New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware in order to have access to a larger, more sustainable player pool.
Problem Gambling Resources in West Virginia
If you or a loved one is struggling with gambling addiction or other problems related to gambling, West Virginia has numerous options at your disposal.
- The Problem Gamblers Help Network of West Virginia is available via call/text/online chat 24 hours a day
- Calling 1-800-GAMBLER toll-free anytime, nationwide
- National Council on Problem Gambling
- Local Gamblers Anonymous Chapters
- Gam-Anon and Gamtalk
Players may also choose to self-exclude themselves from access to all online casinos should they wish to take permanent action. However, this action is irreversible, so it should be taken seriously (just the same as all gambling issues should be taken seriously).
West Virginia Casino FAQ
Is online gambling in West Virginia safe and regulated?
The West Virginia Lottery Commission is responsible for the licensing and regulations of all casino operations, both land-based and online. All operators must be approved by the commission in order to open for business, preventing any unworthy operators from entering the market.
Do I have to be a WV resident to play online?
No, you do not need to be a West Virginia resident to play online. However, you must be at least 21 years of age, able to provide proof of identity, and must be physically located within West Virginia state lines in order to play.
Which West Virginia casinos offer online gambling?
Currently, DraftKings Casino (in partnership with Hollywood Casino at Charles Town) and BetMGM Casino (in partnership with The Greenbrier) are the only two full online casinos. Both properties also have online sportsbooks, as does FanDuel (also in partnership with The Greenbrier). All five of West Virginia’s land-based casinos also offer onsite sportsbooks.
Will more online casinos open in West Virginia?
According to state law, each of West Virginia’s five land-based casinos can enter into agreements with up to three online software providers. This means there could be up to 15 online casinos within the state, should all of those licenses eventually be filled.
Can I play online poker in West Virginia?
Though legal, no online poker operators have opened their doors for business within West Virginia to date.What games can I play online in West Virginia? All approved land-based casino games can be played in electronic form online, including slots, roulette, blackjack, and more. However, live-dealer games and craps are not offered inside West Virginia online casinos.