West Virginia became the fifth state in the US to legalize online casino gaming back in March of 2019. It could be a while however, before online casino gaming gets formally underway. For details on the current landscape of online gambling and when to expect West Virginia online casinos to be up and running, read below.
Best Casinos in West Virginia
West Virginia online casinos have yet to make their mark but land-based casinos have been running for a while now. There are currently five brick and mortar casinos available in West Virginia, each providing a diverse set of experiences. All five properties are expected to become West Virginia online casinos, with licenses as per state gambling laws.
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
The Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races was the first casino to open its doors in West Virginia. The property is owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. and operated by Penn National Gaming. You can find the Hollywood Casino just outside the eastern city limits of Charles Town, West Virginia.
The casino section of the property consists of over 2,500 slots titles and 75 table games. Players will also have access to a 16 table poker room featuring 24/7 action and tournaments throughout the month.
The racetrack at the casino is one of the busiest in the country, generally running 5 days a week. It features a six furlong thoroughbred horse racing facility, home to the West Virginia Breeders’ Classic. Sports betting is available for horse racing along with a number of other popular sports at the property’s new sportsbook.
Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort
Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort is located by the Ohio River north of New Cumberland, West Virginia. The property is owned and run by Eldorado Resorts, one of the largest casino operators in the world. The Mountaineer is known for being the first racetrack in the US to be converted into a racino.
The casino portion of the property consists of over 1,500 slot machines, a variety of table games and a 24/7 poker room. The site also provides a sportsbook run by world renowned online sports betting platform, William Hill.
The thoroughbred racetrack at Mountaineer is one of the most popular in the State, featuring races 5 nights a week. Mountaineer also hosts the West Virginia Derby, a Grade II race which has significantly grown in popularity and purse in the past decade.
Mardi Gras Casino & Resort
The Mardi Gras Casino & Resort is located in the city of Nitro, West Virginia off the Cross Lanes exit of I-64. The property is owned and run by Delaware North. As you’d probably guess, the property uses a Mardi Gras theme to style the casino/resort.
The casino section offers 90,000 square feet of gaming action, with nearly 1,000 slot machines and 20 live table games. The poker room provides cash games in a variety of stakes and formats, along with daily tournaments.
Mardi Gras was the first of the West Virginia sportsbooks to offer mobile app sports betting. The app was created in partnership with sports betting platform, BetLucky. Unfortunately, a contract dispute resulted in BetLucky no longer offering online sports betting in WV. Visitors can still however enjoy live greyhound racing, and off-track betting for both greyhound and horse racing at the retail sportsbook.
The Casino Club at Greenbrier
Greenbrier is the only privately owned casino in the US, open strictly to members and patrons of the hotel. The luxury resort and casino is located in the Allegheny Mountains near White Sulphur Springs in Greenbrier County.
The gaming section of the property provides players 320 slots games and a variety of table games including: Blackjack, Roulette, Three Card Poker, Texas Hold ‘em, Mini-Baccarat, and Craps.
A sportsbook is also available at Greenbrier, in association with fantasy sports providers FanDuel. The partnership recently developed a mobile app allowing bettors to place wagers electronically on sports inside the borders of West Virginia. Greenbrier is one of the two West Virginia sportsbooks that currently provides mobile betting.
List of West Virginia Casinos
- Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
- Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort
- Mardi Gras Casino & Resort
- The Casino Club at The Greenbrier
- Wheeling Island Hotel & Casino
West Virginia Casino Laws
Despite being considered a conservative state, West Virginia has been one of the ambitious states when it comes to gambling. While land-based casinos have long been running in the state, online gambling was introduced by the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act. The Act legalized online casino gambling and sports betting in West Virginia after Gov. Jim Justice didn’t act before his deadline in 2019.
West Virginia online casinos are not yet fully regulated and implemented. The Act has however provided the West Virginia Lottery with a deadline of June 2020 to finalize a framework of regulation for online gaming. A likely debut for West Virginia online casinos is February of 2021.
When West Virginia online casinos do eventually go live, licenses will be restricted to five land-based casinos in the state. Each casino will be required to pay a $250,000 licensing fee and renewal fee of $100,000 every five years.
It is still unclear the number of partner brands or ‘skins’ each licensee will be permitted. This is expected to be decided by the West Virginia Lottery during the rule-making process. One thing is for sure, all of the best online casinos in the US will be vying for a partnership.
Future Casino Legislation in West Virginia
Much of the fate of West Virginia online casinos will be left to the framework formed by the Lottery by June of 2020. The rules will govern the five land-based casinos and any skins the casinos use. After the regulations are in place, it’s likely another 6-7 months will be required before West Virginia online casinos go live.
One of the key points that will play a large role in the landscape of WV online gambling is the number of partner brands permitted. Will casinos the five land-based casinos be given the opportunity to partner with multiple brands and if so how many? Also, will online poker brands, online casino brands and online sports betting brands get a chance to mix and match? We’ll have to wait for the West Virginia Lottery Rules to find out.
Casino Games Available
West Virginia online casinos are expected to follow suit with other USA online casinos to provide a similar set of gaming options. The most likely game types to be available are slots, table games and poker options.
Slots will be arguably the most popular game type featured among USA online casinos. You can expect classic slots, fruit machines, video slots and progressive jackpots slots. Likely game studios featured are NYX, Microgaming, NetEnt and WMS.
The table games section at West Virginia online casinos are expected to feature player favorites such as Blackjack and Roulette. Both games should be featured in multiple stakes a variations. Other popular table games you can look forward to include: Craps, Baccarat, Casino Hold Em’ and Carribean Stud.
Many of the best online casinos also feature live casino section for many of their table games.
Video poker games should be available along with multi-hand poker against other players. Video poker titles you can expect to find are Bonus Poker, Jack or Better, Aces and Face and Deuces Wild. Multi-hand poker will likely be offered in partnership with an existing online poker brand such as Pokerstars, WSOP or Party Poker.
West Virginia Online Casino Apps
West Virginia online casino apps will likely follow a similar path to sportsbook apps. There are currently two sportsbook apps available from FanDuel and DraftKings in WV.
Other states such as NJ and Pennsylvania have integrated sportsbook/casino apps together for both sports betting and casino gameplay. Some of the best online casinos to provide integrated apps include the 888casino, Paddy Power Casino and William Hill Casino. Expect some of the best online casinos in the US to enter the market with apps in WV.
To use West Virginia online casino apps users will be required to be geo-located within state boundaries. To ensure users are playing within WV, location software will need to be installed on your mobile device.
Both iOS and Android devices are expected to be supported by West Virginia online casinos. To download the app you may be required to visit the operator’s website, due to gambling restrictions.
West Virginia Online Sportsbooks
Online sports betting has come a lot further than the online casino market in West Virginia. Bettors can already access some of the best online sportsbooks at the two major land-based casinos. FanDuel is available at the Greenbrier and DraftKings at the Hollywood Casino. Both sportsbooks provide mobile betting apps available on both iOS and Android devices.
BetLucky partnered with both the Wheeling Casino and Mardi Gras Casino and were the first to launch a sportsbook app. Unfortunately, the app was no longer offered due to a contract dispute.
Final Thoughts On West Virginia Online Casinos
West Virginia online casinos are definitely coming, when however is unclear. With the legislation in place requiring only a framework to be set, it could be very soon. June is the deadline for the WV Lottery to create the guidelines, which makes early 2021 the most likely launch period.
Expect West Virginia land-based casinos to partner with a number of the best online casinos in the US. Some of the most likely usa online casinos you can look for are FanDuel, DratKing, William Hill and the Stars Group.
Be sure to check in for more developments as the West Virginia online casino landscape begins to unfold over the next year.