History of West Virginia Online Gambling
West Virginia wasn’t one of the earliest states to begin discussing internet gambling. However, the legislature’s interest piqued when New Jersey challenged a federal ban on sports betting (PASPA) in 2016.
WV was one of five states to join New Jersey in this fight. They triumphed when the Supreme Court abolished PASPA in May 2018.
Politicians preemptively passed a bill on the matter in March 2018. The WV Lottery Sports Wagering Act (S 415), which allows land-based and online betting, went into effect after PASPA’s fall.
The now-defunct BetLucky accepted West Virginia’s first official online wager in December 2018. Today, multiple other operators serve the WV online sports betting market.
In 2019, Del. Jason Barrett introduced a lottery-backed bill that called for legal online casinos and poker sites. The West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act (HB 2934) passed in both houses in early 2019.
Gov. Jim Justice made the legislation official with his signature on March 9, 2019. DraftKings launched the state’s first online casino in July 2020.
West Virginia Online Sports Betting
West Virginia currently features three legal online sportsbooks:
- BetMGM (in partnership with The Greenbrier)
- DraftKings (in partnership with Hollywood Casino)
- FanDuel (in partnership with the Greenbrier)
FanDuel and DraftKings weren’t the first bookmakers in the market after launching in August 2019. However, they were the first two operators to gain meaningful market share in the Mountaineer State.
BetMGM online launched in January 2020 to capitalize on Super Bowl LIV. It also appears to have staying power in the market.
Each of West Virginia's five land-based casinos can form partnerships with up to three online bookmakers (15 total). However, given the failures of BetLucky and other early operators, WV likely doesn’t have enough liquidity for up to 15 betting sites.
West Virginia Online Casinos
WV offers the following legal online casinos:
- BetMGM Casino (The Greenbrier)
- DraftKings Casino (Hollywood Casino)
- Chumba Casino (no partner—social gaming)
DraftKings was the first regulated internet casino to launch in West Virginia in July 2020. Much like with sports betting, BetMGM joined the party later in August 2020.
BetMGM and DraftKings are currently the only legal real-money casinos in the Mountaineer State. They accept real-money wagers and pay cash winnings.
Chumba, meanwhile, is a legal social gaming site. It sees players win coins that they can use to enter sweepstakes contests.
West Virginia Poker Sites
The Lottery Interactive Wagering Act allows for up to five WV poker sites. At the time of this writing, though, no legal online poker sites are available in West Virginia.
The state has been slow to work out all of the legal kinks with internet poker. Furthermore, it has yet to approve any applicants.
Operators are likely hesitant to jump into the WV market. After all, online poker is a game that heavily relies on liquidity to succeed.
West Virginia is only the 38th most-populous state in America. It would need to join a multi-state compact and share its player pool to create any meaningful liquidity.
Assuming internet poker does take off in WV, BetMGM and PokerStars (Flutter Entertainment) are two likely candidates to launch sites. PokerStars is especially significant, as it features more online poker customers worldwide than any other entity.
Requirements to Obtain a WV Online Gambling License
West Virginia requires operators to initially pay $250,000 for an internet gambling license. Licenses last for five years and come with a $100,000 renewal cost.
Online casinos and poker sites must cover a 15% tax rate. Meanwhile, internet betting operators pay a 10% rate.
List of Eligible WV Land-Based Casino Partners
Internet gambling operators must partner with one of West Virginia’s land-based casinos. The state’s five brick-and-mortar casinos are:
- Hollywood Casino (Charles Town) - Owned by Penn National, this racino features over 2,500 slot machines, table games, and a poker room.
- Mardi Gras (Cross Lanes) - Owned by Delaware North, Mardi Gras offers almost 1,000 slots and a poker room.
- Mountaineer (New Cumberland) - Mountaineer features a poker room, a thoroughbred racetrack, 1,100 slots, and over 30 table games.
- The Greenbrier (Greenbrier County) - Opened in 1778, The Greenbrier resort received permission from the state to launch a private casino in 2008.
- Wheeling Island (Wheeling Island) - Also owned by Delaware North, Wheeling Island spreads over 1,100 slot machines and a poker room.
Who Regulates Online Gambling in West Virginia?
The West Virginia State Lottery regulates both land-based and internet gambling in the Mountaineer State. It reviews applications, approves operators, and accepts licensing fees.
Deposit & Withdrawal Options
West Virginia online gambling sites boast a variety of deposit and withdrawal options. Therefore, you should experience little trouble funding your account and receiving payouts in WV.
- ACH (e-check) - This option lets you link a bank account to a gambling site and send funds to your account.
- Cash at the cage - Visit a land-based WV casino and deposit directly at its cage.
- Credit/debit card - Deposit using branded cards from Visa and Mastercard.
- E-wallet - Skrill and PayPal are both available for gambling deposits.
- PayNearMe - Fund your account through your local 7-Eleven.
- Prepaid card - You can use these casino-issued cards like a gift card.
- ACH - Withdraw money to your linked bank account.
- Cash at the cage - Receive instant cashouts from a brick-and-mortar cage.
- E-wallet - Use PayPal and Skrill to collect payments.
- Paper check - Request a paper check, which may take up to 14 days to arrive.
- Prepaid card - Load funds back onto your casino-branded card.
West Virginia Online Gambling Bonuses
Given that it hasn’t launched yet, online poker doesn’t currently offer bonuses. However, WV online casinos and sportsbooks feature some or all of the following deals. To see bonuses on legal sites in other states within the USA, check out the US online gambling guide.
A no-deposit bonus becomes available after you register for an account. For example, you might receive $25 after signing up at a casino or betting site.
From here, you gamble to satisfy terms and conditions. You keep whatever is left from the bonus—plus any winnings —after meeting T&Cs.
Here’s an example:
- You receive a $20 no-deposit bonus.
- Rollover is 10x.
- $10 remains after you satisfy T&Cs.
- You can either cash out the $10 or keep gambling with it.
A deposit bonus matches a percentage of your deposit up to a specified amount. You get to withdraw the bonus after meeting terms and conditions.
Here’s an example:
- A WV gaming site offers a 100% match bonus worth up to $500.
- You deposit $300, thus qualifying for a $300 bonus.
- You can cash out the $300 after satisfying all terms.
Exclusive to online casinos, cashback allows you to win back a percentage of your losses. Cashback typically applies to losses accrued over a specified period (e.g., seven days after depositing).
Here’s an example:
- A casino offers 10% cashback on your first deposit.
- The offer covers the first seven days following the deposit.
- You lose $100 within the first week.
- 100 x 0.1 = $10 in cashback
WV online casinos and bookmakers may also offer loyalty benefits. These rewards apply to all of your real-money wagers.
Depending on the gambling type, you may be privy to some or all of the following:
- Comp points (exchange for cash)
- Deposit bonuses
- Free bets
- Free slots spins
- Land-based casino comps
Online bookmakers offer free bets when you sign up and deposit. A free wager lets you win back potential losses stemming from your first bet.
Here’s an example:
- An internet sportsbook offers up to a $500 risk-free wager.
- You place a $250 bet and lose.
- You can earn the $250 back by meeting T&Cs.
Yes. Online sports betting, poker, and casino games are all legal in the Mountaineer State.
The WV Lottery Sports Wagering Act (S 415) makes internet betting legal. The West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act (HB 2934) allows for online poker and casino games.
The West Virginia Lottery regulates all internet gambling in the state. It works to guarantee that only qualified companies can operate in WV.
The state lottery also ensures that operators live up to the standards set forth by S 415 and HB 2934. It reserves the right to fine or even revoke the license of operators that break the rules.
You can gamble online in West Virginia if you’re at least 21 years old. You must verify your age when signing up at an internet casino or sportsbook.
No. You can enjoy WV internet gambling as long as you’re located within state lines at the time.
West Virginia online gambling sites use geolocation to determine where you are. As long as the software establishes that you’re in WV, you’re good to go.
The state only taxes winnings gained through the West Virginia State Lottery. Therefore, online casino and betting winnings aren’t subject to WV taxes.
However, people do need to list the following gambling wins on federal tax forms:
1. Online slots - Wins of $1,200 or greater
2. Online sports betting - Wins of $600+ (without TIN) or $5,000+ (if TIN is provided)
3. Online poker tournaments - Wins of $5,000 or greater
Internet poker is legal in West Virginia as of 2019. However, the market has been slower to form than the online betting and casino markets.
The Mountaineer State will likely feature one or more poker sites in the future. No timetable is available on when this will happen, though.