West Virginia Horse Racing Betting

West Virginia was one of the first states to act on the legalization of sports betting once the US Supreme Court gave the green light. Sports betting now winds out a trifecta of wagering opportunities in the state, as West Virginia is also home to a thriving casino and horse racing industry.

Two tracks in the state feature live thoroughbred horse racing, which can also be wagered on in West Virginia via off-track and online betting options. Greyhound racing is also popular in WV, with live racing offered at two locations.

Legal Horse Racing Betting Sites in West Virginia:

Rank
Gambling Site
Bonus
Rating
Visit
1
Bet $200, Get $200 Extra
2
Up to $500 Welcome Bonus
3
Up to $1,000 in Risk-Free Bets

Online Horse Racing Betting in West Virginia

Online horse racing betting is legal and regulated in West Virginia. The West Virginia Racing Commission is the governing body for horse racing in the state. It is responsible for overseeing the conduct of pari-mutuel wagering, issuing licenses to advance deposit wagering operators (ADWs), and more.

Although online racing betting has been available in West Virginia for many years, WV previously tolerated it rather than actively regulated it due to existing law being unclear on the matter. That issue was resolved in 2020 with the passage of legislation to legalize online horse racing betting formally, establish licensing protocols for ADWs, and tax the activity.

Under current law, horse racing betting sites (also known as ADWs) are required to apply for licenses from the WV Racing Commission. Licenses are issued at a cost of $5,000 and give ADWs permission to accept wagers from WV residents.

West Virginia imposes a 4% source market fee on licensed ADWs and a 0.5% regulatory fee on the total betting handle to be given to the general administrative account of the WV Racing Commission. An additional 1.5% fee on the betting handle is assessed on ADWs and given to the Advance Deposit Wagering Account fund to be appropriated by the state legislature.

State law also establishes criminal and civil penalties for ADWs that offer online betting in West Virginia without a valid license. Individuals found providing ADW services in WV without a license can be fined up to $50,000 and/or imprisoned for up to five years.

The minimum age to bet on horse races in West Virginia, both in-person and online, is 18.

Licensed West Virginia Racetracks

For live thoroughbred racing, residents and visitors of the state of West Virginia have two options available. Two venues feature live greyhound racing. Here are the details on each of the four tracks.

Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races

750 Hollywood Drive

Charles Town, WV 25414

This is one of the most iconic horse racing venues in the entire US. Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races first opened its doors in 1933. It became part of the Penn National Gaming family in 1997 and has evolved into a popular tourist destination. 

In addition to horse racing, visitors will find a casino with table games and slot machines, as well as sports betting offered on-site. There’s a spacious hotel for guests looking to stay overnight, as well as numerous dining options.

Mountaineer Racetrack & Resort

1420 Mountaineer Circle

New Cumberland, WV 26047

This spot traces its roots back to 1951 and is now owned and operated by Eldorado Resorts. Among its claims to fame is being the first race track in the US to offer slot machines and evolve into what’s known as a racino.

Mountaineer has a hotel with both rooms and suites, as well as dining and entertainment options on-site. A William Hill sportsbook is located on the property, featuring a wide array of slot and table games on the casino floor.

Mardi Gras Casino & Resort

1 Greyhound Drive

Cross Lanes, WV 25313

Greyhound racing is one of the draws at Mardi Gras, which became part of the Delaware North family in 2018. A full assortment of slot and casino games is offered, including numerous dining options and a luxury hotel.

Wheeling Island

1 South Stone Street

Wheeling, WV 26003

West Virginia’s other greyhound track is also a full-service casino with slots, table games, and a sportsbook. A 151-room hotel is part of the property, which also features live boxing and concert events on-site from time to time. 

State Fair of West Virginia

This summertime staple features harness racing on select nights and days during the 10-day event, which is naturally a highlight of the August calendar.

Off-Track Betting in West Virginia

There are no stand-alone off-track betting facilities located in West Virginia, but each of the state’s four racetracks offers simulcast wagering. 

Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races

750 Hollywood Drive

Charles Town, WV 25414

The simulcast facilities located on-site are open year-round and seven days a week. Wagering is available on both thoroughbred and greyhound tracks from across the US. 

Mountaineer Racetrack & Resort

1420 Mountaineer Circle

New Cumberland, WV 26047

The simulcast section of Mountaineer is open daily from noon through midnight and offers betting for both thoroughbred and greyhound races.

Mardi Gras Casino & Resort

1 Greyhound Drive

Cross Lanes, WV 25313

One of the state’s spots for live greyhound racing also has simulcast wagering on-site seven days a week for thoroughbred and greyhound racing.

Wheeling Island

1 South Stone Street

Wheeling, WV 26003

Wheeling has a simulcast facility on-site for horse and harness racing. It’s open seven days a week and features races from dozens of tracks. 

West Virginia Horse Racing Betting Laws

Pari-mutuel wagering was officially legalized in West Virginia in the early 1930s, with the Charles Town Race Track opening soon thereafter. That venue still exists and features races to this day, albeit under a different name.

Mountaineer began operations in the 1950s and is also still home to a viable and popular race track. Both of the state’s thoroughbred facilities have evolved into full-fledged casinos, as have the two greyhound tracks in WV.

Key laws impacting horse racing betting in WV include:

Major Horse Racing Events in West Virginia

West Virginia Derby: This annual event celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019. Held at Mountaineer, this is a 1 ⅛ mile race that is open to three-year-olds. It’s a Grade 3 stakes race with current purses checking in at $500,000.

Charles Town Classic: This event debuted in 2009 and has since seen its prize pool grow to $1.5 million. It’s considered a big event on the nation’s racing calendar. The classic is open to horses four years and older and contested on a 1 ⅛ mile track. 

West Virginia Breeders Classic: This event entered its 32nd year in 2019. It features several different races of varying lengths throughout the day for several age groups. This is another annual event which is held at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.