As mentioned earlier, West Virginia is a gambling-friendly state. This extends to online betting, too. Quite frankly, the state legalized online casinos almost by accident. It happened that Governor Jim Justice, who’s also a hotel owner, refused to sign the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act due to a conflict of interest. Despite withholding his assent, the bill automatically became law, anyway, thanks to a loophole of the veto. This meant that casino games became legal in the state in March 2018.
This legislative work opened the door to the world of online gaming, including online slots, online poker, roulette and other online casino table games. Under the West Virginia online gambling laws, all online casinos are required to have roots in the five existing land-based casinos in the state. This has created a competitive atmosphere among the operators who must continually innovate to capture the attention of the gamblers.
As a result, top online casinos, including the one that BetMGM launched in the state, have curated an impressive array of titles, spanning popular table game variants and live dealer games. Many of them carry different offerings, including sports betting, fantasy sports, scratch cards and a host of other options.
The best West Virginia casino brands, like BetMGM, even offer mobile apps to their customers. In all, there are 15 online casino sites to choose from in West Virginia. So now that gambling in West Virginia is available at a casino online, you have the choice between online and land-based betting venues.
What’s the Gambling Age in West Virginia?
West Virginia gambling laws are intended to shield younger individuals from potential negative repercussions of gambling, so age limits have been put in place to guide toward that. Still, West Virginia’s gambling age varies with respect to the game you want to play.
If you are interested in lottery games, a round of bingo or have eyes on the racetracks, the magic number is 18 years. Once you’re 18 or above, you’re set to go.
However, if you wish to try sports betting, spin the reels of casino games or play strategic online poker games, you must be at least 21 years of age.
West Virginia Regulatory Bodies
Several bodies take responsibility for the intricate dance of regulating gambling activities in West Virginia, each contributing to the provision of a structured and safe framework for these activities.
West Virginia Lottery Commission
This is the commission responsible for regulating the state’s diverse lottery games, sports betting endeavors and video lottery activities. It was established under the West Virginia Lottery Act and oversees the licensing of these games, enforcing rules and regulations to ensure a level playing field for all.
Office of the Attorney General
The Office of the Attorney General assumes a vital role in oversight. It guides the interpretation and execution of gambling laws and regulations to ensure gambling houses and gamblers are following the rules to the letter.
West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration
While this institution doesn’t directly regulate gambling, it does supervise the sales and distribution of alcohol in casinos and other gambling establishments. Alcohol is popular for many who gamble at land-based casinos but requires firm controls to be implemented.