Gambling is legal in West Virginia – this includes sports betting, poker and online casinos. DraftKings Casino became the first online casino to launch in the Mountain State, doing so in July 2020. Soon, you’ll be able to play blackjack, video poker and even real online slots in WV.
DraftKings is unlikely to be alone for very long. Many of the biggest and best casino brands have partnered with WV casinos. They include FanDuel Casino, BetRivers and BetMGM. These brands are competing to attract new players with bonuses and promotions. You can take advantage of no-deposit deals to get your casino bankroll off to the best possible start.
Our comprehensive guide to online casinos in West Virginia provides a detailed breakdown on which casinos will launch first followed by how to deposit, cash out, the no deposit bonuses available and other forms of legal gambling.
West Virginia has a long and rich history when it comes gambling. The racetrack history goes back to 1931 but it would not be until 1980 that the gambling laws in WV saw a significant update. The 1980’s saw the introduction of legal bingo games as well as the state lottery.
Casinos were opened at the racetracks in 1994, though it would take longer for table games to be allowed in addition to the video lottery terminals / slots. These were added in 2008, following referendums of the local populations around the casinos. As well as the 4 racetrack casinos, WV has a private ‘club’ casino – the Greenbrier.
DraftKings Casino is the very first online casino to launch in West Virginia. The DFS titan opened the virtual doors for its casino product in July 2020. However, the company in black-and-green is unlikely to enjoy its effective monopoly for very long.
Alongside DraftKings, some of the biggest and best online casino brands are available in West Virginia. Here is what to expect from each brand:
BetMGM: This brand has partnered with the Greenbrier to bring their popular casino and betting apps to West Virginia. The platform is produced by Roar Digital – a JV between MGM and gambling giant GVC. You will find slots from big name studios like IGT, Konami and NetEnt on this app – along with table games and video poker. New players get a $25 no-deposit bonus to check out the games, with a deposit bonus of up to $1000 also available.
PokerStars Casino: This brand is best-known for online poker, though also offer online casino games in regulated states. You can choose from apps or desktop download software and will find a selection of the latest slots along with popular table games. As well as NetEnt slot titles, you will find a lot of games from NYX at this casino. New players get $30 in free play for a small ($20+) deposit – or can opt for a matched deposit bonus instead.
FanDuel Casino: You might know this brand as the leading DFS provider. FanDuel have since expanded to offer both sports betting and casino games in regulated states. They have partnered with the Greenbrier to bring their popular brand to West Virginia. New players at this casino get a rebate on any losses for the first 24 hours of play up to $250. By taking the risk off of the table for new players, FanDuel let you try their 100’s of slots and table games without risking your own bankroll.
BetRivers Casino: This casino is produced by Rush Street Interactive – and has one of the easiest to clear bonuses of any West Virginia online casino. New players get a 100% matched deposit bonus, up to $250 max. You only need to wager this once (on slots) for it to clear into your real money account. This casino has a social feel, with a list of recent winners scrolling by, wheel spin bonuses and plenty of entertaining promotions.
|Gambling site||Land-Based Partner||Date Launched||Online casino|
|DraftKings||Hollywood Casino||Aug. 28, 2019||July 15, 2020|
|FanDuel||FanDuel at The Greenbrier||Sept. 13, 2019||Yes|
|BetMGM||The Greenbrier||Jan. 29, 2020||Yes|
Casinos in other regulated states are accessed via either a responsive website or downloadable apps. There is no longer any need to download a software client for desktop or laptop computers – as all the games are browser based.
Apps for online casinos have pros and cons. While the game play and geo-location is smoother, they often don’t feature as many games as the browser-based versions. Cashier functionality is included. If you have an iPhone or iPad, you might need to wait a little longer for an app. Apple recently changed the rules for the technology platform for these and the casino companies are still catching up.
An advantage of choosing the browser-based software is that you can instantly move between casinos. This allows you to take advantage of all the future WV online gambling & casino bonuses without needing to download multiple apps.
You can enjoy versions of all the popular live casino games online. They include slots, blackjack, roulette, video poker and keno games. Online games are not constrained by floor space. This means that apps and web-based casinos can have 100’s of options.
Here is a breakdown of the games you will find:
Many of the best-known slots from brick and mortar casinos can be played online. Here are 5 that regular casino visitors will be familiar with:
You can play casino games online in demo mode. These free to play games allow you to enjoy the latest slots, table games and video poker titles without risking any money.
Some people enjoy free casino games simply for fun. Others like to check out a selection of slots for free before choosing which ones to play for real money. You can win real money playing free casino games at some online casinos in West Virginia. Look out for no-deposit bonuses for new signups – making sure you check the terms and conditions before you play.
There are two ways to access free online casino games. First, you can follow our links to the casino website on your mobile device and install an app. Second, you can access the games via the casino website on your desktop.
Note that your ‘play money’ balance will refresh each time you load a new game.
As the online casinos in WV go live, there will be competition to attract players. This will give you an excellent opportunity to take advantage of their marketing budgets – in the form of casino bonus offers.
Based on the pattern in other states where online gambling is legal, the WV casino bonuses will include a mix of completely free offers, matched welcome bonuses and player promotions / loyalty schemes. While there is nothing stopping you from taking advantage of all 5 WV online casino bonuses, the following information gives you an idea of what to look for to get the best deals:
No Deposit Casino Bonuses: Expect to see small bonus offers simply for registering an account. These are usually in the $20 to $25 range. You’ll need to use this for play before it can be withdrawn. Look for the number of times each bonus needs to be wagered. The best only need to be played through once, the worst up to 20 times.
First Deposit Bonuses: This will be the most common form of WV casino bonus when they go live. Your first deposit will be matched, up to a cap of between $100 and $1000. Again, each bonus will have a play-through requirement. These will vary from casino to casino.
Loyalty Rewards: Some online casinos tie-in their player loyalty scheme with their live casino comps. Some loyalty schemes have tiers, while others are flat rate. Not all online casinos have these. Expect to be able to swap points you collect from real money play for extra bonuses.
Player Promotions: This is a broad category, covering all online casino offers aimed at existing players rather than new players signing up. They can include free slot spins, leader board contests, reload bonuses, happy hours for extra loyalty points, slot or blackjack tournaments and a lot of seasonal / one off ideas. Key to finding a good online casino is to make sure that there are frequent promo offers.
In addition to DraftKings, there is another legal way to enjoy online slots and a limited selection of table games in West Virginia.
Here is how they work:
While this sounds complex, the sites have been legally running in multiple states since 2016. They accept credit card payments legally and are becoming increasingly popular.
The downside is that the number of games is limited compared to the regulated casinos in other states. You can enjoy some colorful slots, many with jackpots. If you are familiar with live casino slots, you will find that a lot of these are heavily ‘influenced’ by big name titles.
To get the best from the bonuses and promotions at WV online casinos, you need to make a deposit. There are many ways to move your money safely and securely online – and to get your winnings back out. If you are familiar with buying goods and services online, then many of the casino deposit options will already be familiar. There are also ways to deposit which don’t involve sharing any card information or account numbers with the casinos.
Here are the main deposit options:
There are currently 5 casinos, 4 of which are racetracks (2 horse racing, 2 for greyhounds).
West Virginia online gambling laws were debated, introduced to the house and passed in quick succession in 2018.
Act H 2934 became law in March 2018. This permitted the licensing of legal online casinos, poker rooms and sports betting sites – as well as live sports betting. Licenses are available to the 5 existing brick and mortar casinos.
The SCOTUS decision on PASPA in May 2018 triggered a clause in H 2934 – making sports betting legal in West Virginia. Retail sportsbooks would open quickly, with online sportsbooks now also available from both FanDuel and DraftKings.
Each B&M casino is permitted to license 3 online sports betting brands, giving plenty of room for the major technology players in this area to get involved.
Act H2934 taxes online gambling revenues at 15%. There is a $250,000 fee for an interactive license, plus renewal fees every 5 years.
Sports betting became legal after a Supreme Court decision overturned PASPA in May of 2018. This triggered a clause in the WV Lotteries Expansion Act, and live sports betting quickly followed.
There are currently live sportsbooks at each of the state’s land-based casino properties.
There was a “false start” for online sports betting.
The BetLucky app, which was licensed by the owners of the Mardi Gras and Wheelers Island racetrack casinos, came online shortly after licensing was completed. Live sportsbooks run by the companies behind this app (Miomni and EnterG Software Solutions). Unfortunately, the platform did not last – going dark soon after launch. Disputes between Delaware North (owners of the racetracks) and these technology providers have also temporarily shut down the retail sportsbooks
FanDuel and DraftKings online sportsbooks launched live sportsbook apps in September 2019. Since then, BetMGM and BetRivers have launched in WV.
Sports betting, both live and online, is covered in depth on this separate page covering sports betting in West Virginia.
Popular sites include FanDuel and DraftKings. While both of these brands are opening full sports betting sites in WV – the DFS contests will remain in place. These games involve picking a roster of players for a day’s sporting action. Your line-ups can then compete with the picks of players from all over the country. There are different ways to win money with your line-ups. These include tournaments, head-to-head contests, games where 50% or the field get paid and more.
West Virginia has a long history of horse racing. Both main racetracks have a packed schedule of thoroughbred racing, with many stakes races and festivals.
You have 3 ways to place bets:
Betting at the racetracks is not restricted to the events taking place there. Simulcast wagering means that you’ll be able to bet on races from tracks all over the country. All horse racing bets use pari-mutuel pools. Instead of setting prices, the books pool the money bet, dividing this among the winning tickets. You can bet on individual selections, up to 4 finishers in the correct order, or even multi-race bets like the pick 5 contests. If these are not won, they are rolled over to the next meeting, often reaching jackpot sized proportions.
The locations of the 2 thoroughbred and 2 greyhound racetracks with simulcast betting are as follows:
The only betting office which is not attached to a racetrack is the Greenbrier resort in Sulphur Springs. Called the ‘Twelve Oaks’, this is open from 11and to 3am (1pm open Sundays). This resort is marketed as an exclusive club, and their OTB office features its own signature drinks.
Websites and apps which allow bets on horse and greyhounds are legal in West Virginia. These are US sites, which operate using existing Advance Deposit Wagering laws. You will access the same pari-mutuel pools you would if you were betting at the track or an OTB office.
Big sites in this category include BetAmerica. This brand has expanded into full sports betting in New Jersey. Others include TVG and TwinSpires.
The Lottery Commission is playing an important role in the upcoming rollout of online gambling. This will be the licensing and regulatory body for the new gambling apps and websites.
Lottery games started in WV in 1986. There are multiple draws each week, and WV players can get multi-state draw tickets including the PowerBall. Video lottery terminals and scratch off cards are also part of the lottery remit. You need to be 18+ to buy lottery tickets, and over 21 to play the terminals.
As in many states, the money raised through the lottery goes to education and other good causes. In its lifetime the West Virginia state lottery has raised a huge $9 billion for these causes. In many states, lottery and casino gambling activities are regulated separately. In WV, the lottery commission has jurisdiction over slot machines.
Bingo halls can be found throughout WV. These operate on a small stakes and charity gambling basis. The statutes require the cause to be “charitable or public service activity.” Other charity gambling laws include the ability to run draws and sweepstakes style contests.
Online poker is legal in West Virginia and was included in H 2934. This is scheduled to be the last of the three main new WV online gambling verticals – with sports betting and casino games going first.
With a smaller population, WV would significantly benefit from joining inter-state player pools. This would mean more choice of games, bigger tournaments and big promotions become possible.
Merging more states’ players into shared poker rooms is waiting for the outcome of appeals at the Supreme Court against various challenges to the 1963 Wire Act.
In states which already have regulated online poker sites, many big global brands have entered into partnerships with local casino license holders. These include Party Poker, 888 and PokerStars. Game formats available include cash games (the standard real money betting format), tournaments, sit n goes (including lottery sit n goes) and fast-fold poker. With smaller player pools, only the most popular poker variations in Texas Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha are available.
Live poker rooms can be found in 5 venues in West Virginia. These are as follows:
Famous poker players from the Mountain state include Jason Koon. This poker pro has a long list of tournament successes both live and online. Notable wins include $1 million for 1st place in the 2016 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, and a runner up spot in the 2013 Bellagio Cup for more than $300,000. Koon’s all-time winnings exceed $28 million.
Poker home games are not explicitly legal under West Virginia laws – though the wording is dated and ambiguous. There are no reports of home games being stopped. As in many other states, enforcement action does not usually happen for recreational games where nobody is making a profit from hosting / running the game.