West Virginia Gaming News

West Virginia Law News - Get all the facts about WV casinos, gambling laws

As stated elsewhere on Rally WV, West Virginia gambling law is typically straight-up cutting edge with regard to the rest of the nation and currently boasts some of the most liberal laws in the country. As of this writing, five locations offering casino gaming are open for business in West Virginia in the towns of Charles Town, Chester, Cross Lanes, Wheeling and White Sulphur Springs.

The first type of gambling legalized in West Virginia was, naturally, pari-mutuel betting for horse racing. Along with about half of U.S. states in the 1930s, West Virginia passed legislation allowed wagering of this sort in order to generate greater tax revenues and prop up the struggling racing industry. Today, West Virginia is one of the few states in the country which still allow greyhound races as well.

The state has proven to be a regional leader in such liberalization of gaming throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. A state lottery was founded in 1984, when such games were mostly still relegated to northeastern states and West Virginia was a pioneer in video lottery gaming, first having such kiosks installed at racetracks as early as 1994. And when state legislators passed bills for “Type III” gaming in the state, i.e. table games and poker, in 2008, they were one of just four states to allow such games on non-reservation land.

Daily fantasy sports were made legal in 2014, with West Virginia again (again!) a leader in this area, and state legislators had the law ready in 2018 for the momentous Supreme Court decisions which allowed sports betting law to be written at the state level. West Virginia was fourth to take advantage of this legal decision.

West Virginia’s loose gambling law has not only resulted in quite an annual windfall for the state budget – some $385 million per year in tax revenues annually based upon over $1 billion in revenue generated by the state’s five outlets – but has also provided for an again-thriving racing industry.

Better yet for West Virginia, the neighboring states of Kentucky and Virginia appear unlikely to liberalize their own state casino law, and so citizens will continue to hop state borders and plunk down money in West Virginia…