West Virginia Casino Guide
Facts About Gambling & Online Casinos in West Virginia
It’s no surprise that West Virginia relies heavily on tourism to boost the state revenues and bring jobs to the state. For this reason, the state offers both casinos and a lottery. Despite this, neighboring states with more casinos have been puling tourism from the state, leading West Virginia to start making changes.
History of Gambling in West Virginia
West Virginia’s beginnings in gambling date back to 1984 when voters said yes to a constitutional amendment allowing a state lottery. Ten years later, video lottery games were legalized throughout the state. Some of West Virginias horse or dog racing tracks were allowed to open racinos.
In 2009, Article 25 broached job creation and tourism by authorizing “one well-established historic resort hotel” to open a casino. This casino is allowed to have both video gaming machines and table games, including Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, and Poker. With this law, however, only one traditional casino is allowed within the state and to play you must be a hotel guest. With so few choices, it’s not surprising that many residents prefer to play in online casinos.
Age Restrictions for Gambling in West Virginia
West Virginia requires its casinos to limit all betting and gambling to players who are 21 or older. You also must be 21 to play at an online casino in West Virginia. Lottery tickets and scratch offs are available to anyone 18 or older.
West Virginia’s Casino Gambling Outlook
In April 2015, West Virginia Lottery reported gains of eight percent over 2014 lottery ticket sales. The casino market (both video gambling machines and table games), however, declined by more than $29 million.
It’s uncertain where West Virginia will turn to bolster their casino market. Lawmakers are planning to begin a study in the summer of 2015, but no details have been released at the time of this writing.
One change is forthcoming. A new law in Hancock County requires all businesses to go completely smoke-free. This means the casino in this county must build a new outdoor patio where smokers can play slots or table games. Construction on this patio area has begun, and it will be separated with a 12-foot fence line. The alternative was to bar smokers completely leading to an estimated 17 percent loss of revenue.
There is one traditional casino in West Virginia and four racetrack casinos (racinos). Make sure you understand the rules that dictate whether you can play at these casinos before you set out.
The Casino Club at the Greenbrier – This is the only full casino in West Virginia and features more than 300 video slots and 37 tables. State laws require that those entering the casino are overnight guests, members of the Greenbrier Golf & Tennis Club, members of the Greenbrier Sporting Club, or people attending a convention or special event within the hotel. The latter does have an additional stipulation that at least 401 rooms must be booked before attendees are allowed to gamble.
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races – Operated by Penn National Gaming, Hollywood Casino offers more than 2,700 slots and thoroughbred racing. There are also live dealers for Blackjack, Craps, and Roulette. Poker fans will love the on-site poker room at this racino that’s located in Charlestown.
Mardi Gras Casino and Resort – Mardi Gras Casino is in Cross Lanes and is another racino. This property offers 30 table games and over 1,000 slots in the 90,000-square-foot gaming room. Greyhound racing is also available on select days of the week.
Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack, and Resort – Mountaineer is located in Chester and has an outdoor smoking patio to meet county laws. In the non-smoking gaming area, there are table games, poker, and video slots. Race fans can catch live horse races and simulcasts.
Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack – The second of West Virginia’s racinos offering greyhound racing, players will also enjoy having a wide variety of slots and table games. There’s also a poker room with nine tables in this West Virginia casino.