This guide to West Virginia online casinos is your one-stop resource for everything you need to know about this new regulated gaming environment in the state. With the laws changing recently, there will be a lot of information being updated on this page as it becomes available, so we encourage you to bookmark the page and check back regularly to get the latest news and info.
A brief history of legalized online casinos in the state
Online gambling in the United States had been, for the longest time, the domain of illegal casinos operating from outside the country. This all started to change in the early 2010s when states like New Jersey decided to pass legislation to allow land-based casinos to have an online presence. Still, the movement on a state-by-state level on this topic was lukewarm at best. That all changed in May 2018 when the Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, making sports betting legal across the country in whatever state passed their own regulations.
By the end of 2019, 20 states had passed some form of sports betting legislation, and several states added online casino and poker language to their bills to make them more comprehensive. This is exactly what West Virginia did when they drafted the Lottery Interactive Wagering Act, which was passed into law on March 27th, 2019.
As part of this law, five online gaming licenses became available in the state – one for each fo the five land-based gambling entities. Since then, there has been some movement on behalf of each property to find an online gambling partner. Three of the facilities have launched sports betting sites (one had to shut down their online site due to a legal issue with their chosen vendor), but to date, no online casinos have officially launched.
As part of the legislation, each operator had to pay a $250,000 application and license fee, which is good for 5 years. The tax rate on online casino games will be 10%, which is considered to be excellent for operators as it gives them a chance to be profitable.
Where you can play legal online casino games in West Virginia
As of January 2020, there are no legal online casinos available for registration and play in West Virginia. The following five properties have a license, however:
- Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
- Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort
- The Casino Club at The Greenbrier
- Mardi Gras Casino & Resort
- Wheeling Island Hotel
None of these groups have officially announced who will operate their online casinos, but we do know that Draft Kings and Fanduel already operate in the state, and both have casino games they could easily integrate into the current solution.
The next step to launching online casinos in West Virginia is to have the Lottery draft up the regulations so the approval process can begin. The deadline for the regulations to be completed is June 2020, so it is hard to believe we will see a live casino before the start of 2021.
What types of casino games you can play in West Virginia
As part of the legislation, the passed, several forms of online casino games were approved to be offered in West Virginia. Here’s a quick overview of what you will see.
From huge progressive jackpot games to the simple 3-reel games that started the slot machine craze, online slots are more popular than any other game in an online casino. There are thousands of titles available, and the online casinos in West Virginia will give players a chance to search through hundreds in each casino. You’ll find games that are branded with familiar faces from the entertainment world to those with over 200 paylines that will blow your mind. No matter what you choose to play, you’ll find fast games with excellent graphics.
If Blackjack or Baccarat is more your style, then you will be able to look through the dozens of table games that the online casinos in West Virginia will be offering. With no physical tables to worry about housing, there is a far larger selection of game variants at an online casino.
Video poker at an online casino is almost identical to the games you would find at a land-based property. Players chase down the bonus-triggering Royal Flush while playing hands of 5 Card Draw. You’ll find loads of great options in the online video poker category.
Live Dealer Games:
While it has yet to be confirmed, we have to assume that Live Dealer casino games will be part of the legal online casino launch. These games feature a human dealer dealing your cards from a streaming studio and have become very popular as the interaction is much closer to what you would find in a live casino.
Online Casino Bonuses
When the online casinos launch, one thing you will want to look for as a player is a way to get more out of your deposits. Many casinos offer different types of bonuses as a way to attract and retain players – here are a few of the more common ones:
Deposit Bonuses – these are the “match” offers you commonly see at an online casino. You receive special bonus dollars that you can use to gamble with but must be played through a number of times before they can be converted to real money and withdrawn.
Free Spins: – This is a way for the casino to give you a chance to play games without having to make a deposit. Of course, this bonus only really appeals to slots players, but seeing that they are free, there is no reason all online casino players shouldn’t take advantage of them.
Loyalty Program – To keep players active on their sites longer, many online casinos offer some form of loyalty program. This typically involves players earning points and VIP status and using either or both to gain new bonuses or rewards. Each casino’s loyalty program will be different so you should do your homework before committing yourself to one site.
Payments to and from online casino sites in West Virginia
Based on what we have seen in the legal online sports betting landscape in West Virginia, we can predict that the following approved methods will be options for anyone looking to make a deposit at an online casino.
- Credit and Debit Cards (not all banks accept online gambling transactions)
- PayPalBank Wire Transfer
- ACH (E-Check)
- Prepaid Cards
Also, most of the casinos will likely allow you to make a deposit in cash at the casino cage of a corresponding land-based facility. All told, there will be a way for almost anyone to make a deposit at a legal online casino.
West Virginia Online Casinos FAQ
Can I play at other online casinos from West Virginia?
If you mean the offshore casinos, the answer is yes, they are still available for play in West Virginia. However, we suggest you remain patient and wait for the legal sites to begin operations. The offshore casinos offer to U.S. players do not have access to the best software and content, so the overall experience will be quite disappointing. Add in the difficulties of payment processing and the general additional risk of playing in an unregulated environment, and we cannot recommend this type of play to our readers.
Can I try games for free at an online casino?
Yes, all online casinos offer their content in some form of free play mode. Here, you can use play chips to test out the game content or simply to learn how to play a game you have never tried. This gives players a chance to feel more comfortable about a game before putting down real money.
How do I know online casino games are legitimate?
Online casinos are based on a random number generator that is designed to spit out results based on the rules of each game. All software companies that are looking to be licensed in West Virginia will have that RNG and the rules of the games vigorously tested by a third-party agency such as GLI, and once they have passed the test, they are given a certification which you will see posted on a website. This should make you feel confident that the games you are playing are being held to the highest standards.
Why haven’t online casinos launched yet in West Virginia?
We know people are excited about the idea of legal online casinos in the state, but things take time and governments have other issues to tackle as well. We expect the momentum will build in early 202 especially with the success of online sports betting, and hopefully, the wait will not be too much longer.