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West Virginia Poker Laws 2016

West Virginia has a pretty good selection of real cash gambling activities on offer to residents and visitors to the state. There are five licensed casino venues, you can bet on horse and dog racing, and the Mountain State also has a lottery and some charitable gaming options you can get at.

In terms of real money casinos, you have four that are classed as racinos – being venues that double up as racetracks. These offer tables games, along with slots and video lottery terminals. Then there’s The Casino Club at the Greenbrier, which opened in 2009 and is only accessible by guests at the famous luxury hotel. There are no tribal casinos in West Virginia, as there are no registered tribes there.

Pari-mutuel bets on greyhound races can be made at West Virginia’s two dog tracks, Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras Casino. There is live horse racing to be had at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and also at Charles Town Races and Slots. Simulcast real cash betting on races has also been licensed at the Greenbrier.

Charitable betting applies to activities like bingo and raffles, which have to adhere to certain guidelines and channel funds appropriately. WV’s real money state lottery has been running since 1986 and, along with traditional lottery games, also runs the video lottery machines and the table games at the Greenbrier.

This page features details on:

  • WV’s legal views on online poker
  • Best WV-friendly Internet poker rooms
  • Why it’s worth playing for real money

What’s on this page?

Online Gambling Law in West Virginia

There is no specific mention we can find of online real money gambling in West Virginia state law, but based on existing legislation that outlaws anything but the permitted gambling activities, we must conclude it’s illegal.

Three U.S. states have thus far made the move to legalize some forms of real cash Internet gambling – Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. WV has yet to join them and until it does, those accessing real money online casinos would be classed as in breach of the law.

Can Players from West Virginia Play Online Poker?

The good news for WV poker players is that some online sites will accept their registration and allow them to play real cash games. West Virginians simply need to find a site that meets their needs, make a deposit and they can get themselves playing at virtual tables in no time at all.

It’s important when choosing your WV poker site to take into account factors like security, bonuses on offer, poker formats and gameplay. We would recommend referencing a respected online portal for reviews on the best sites to play at.

Recent Developments

In February 2016 , a bill was passed by the senate that seeks to allow smoking at real cash gambling venues in West Virginia. The argument is that West Virginians deserve their freedoms intact and that certain establishments should be exempt from adhering to a blanket smoking ban. The bill still needs to be approved at the highest level to be passed into law.

The Facts

West Virginia is a good place to be if you’re looking for real money gambling action. There are land-based options at casinos, racetracks and through charitable gambling, and the state lottery is another outlet to make use of. Online gambling remains illegal, but that may change in time.

The History of Gambling in West Virginia

WV’s modern gambling history began with the legalization of pari-mutuel betting and the growth of live greyhound and horse racing in the 1930s. It wasn’t until the 1990s that casinos were passed into law, and they had to wait until 2007 before table games were allowed. By that time WV had a state lottery.

Regulated Gambling Options in West Virginia

The following can be categorized as legal real cash gambling options in West Virginia:

  • Pari-mutuel betting on horse and dog racing
  • State lottery
  • Commercial casinos / racinos
  • Charitable gambling

The future of Regulated Online Gambling in West Virginia

West Virginia is a state to watch when it comes to regulated online gambling. A bill was proposed in 2014 to conduct research in the area of iGaming and iLottery. This would suggest WV influencers are at the very least open to the idea of exploring the area. Should they find that real money online gambling could bring big benefits to the state, we could see a push for a bill to legalize it.

The Bottom Line

West Virginia is one of America’s more liberal states when it comes to real money gambling laws. There is plenty on offer and the hope is that further expansion will arrive in the coming years. Could legal online gambling be part of WV’s future? You certainly can’t rule it out, though much may depend on the success of the venture in NJ, NV and DE.

References

  • [1]Senate Oks Bill To Exempt Casinos, Gambling Parlors From Smoking Bans
  • [2]Gambling Online: West Virginia
  • [3]2014 Internet Gambling and Lotteries Legislation
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