Introduction to West Virginia Slot Machine Casino Gambling
West Virginia slot machine casino gambling consists of video lottery terminals (VLTs) at four pari-mutuel facilities and one casino resort. The following games are available on these state lottery controlled VLTs:
- Keno; and
- Numerous versions of poker.
Also, these styles of VLTs are also allowed by West Virginia law in bars, restaurants, and fraternal organizations. Bars and restaurants are allowed to have up to 5 VLTs, while fraternal organizations are limited to 10 VLTs.
West Virginia state gaming law have minimum and maximum legal requirements for payout returns for their VLTs. These are 80% and 95%, respectively. West Virginia also makes available actual payout return percentages for each gaming facility annually. For the mid-2016 to mid-2017 timeframe, these annual casino actuals returns were:
- The Casino Club at The Greenbrier: n/a;
- Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races: 89.92%;
- Mardi Gras Casino & Resort: 90.66%;
- Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort: 88.59%; and
- Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Racetrack: 89.28%.
This post continues the weekly blog series “Slot Machine Casino Gambling, State-By-State“, a year-long online resource project dedicated to guiding slot machine gambling enthusiasts to success.
Relevant Legal Statutes on Gambling*
The minimum legal age for casino gambling in West Virginia is 21. It is 18 for pari-mutual wagering, the lottery, and bingo.
Video lottery was approved in 1994, with legal restraints, at West Virginia’s racetracks. One of the legal restraint is that the counties in which each track is located must approve having video lottery terminals at this pari-mutuel racing facility.
In 2001, the West Virginia passed a bill allowing for a limited number of VLTs at bars, restaurants, and fraternal organizations. Up to 5 video lottery terminals are allowed for bars and restaurants while fraternal organizations are limited to 10 VLTs. Further, this Limited Video Lottery Act of 2001 limited the number of VLTs in the state to a total of 9,000 machines.
It is a legal requirement in West Virginia that all video lottery terminals have a minimum payout return percentage of 80% while also having a maximum payout return of 95%.
*The purpose of this section is to inform the public of state gambling laws and how the laws apply to various forms of gambling. This information is not intended to provide legal advice.
Slot Machine Private Ownership
It is legal to privately own a slot machine in the state of West Virginia.
State Gaming Commission
West Virginia’s video lottery terminals are controlled by the state lottery. The West Virginia Lottery was voted into existence with a 67% approval via a Lottery Amendment to the State Constitution in November of 1984. The first lottery tickets were sold in January of 1986.
Subsequently, VLTs were legalized in West Virginia via the following amendments, acts, rules, and statutes:
- Lottery Act of 1985;
- Racetrack Video Lottery Act of 1994;
- The Limited Video Lottery Act of 2001;
- Title 179 Legislative Rule of the West Virginia Lottery: Series 4 – Limited Gaming Facility Rule; and
- Statute 29-25-1: Authorized Gaming Facility at The Greenbrier.
For those interested in table games, West Virginia legalized them through the West Virginia Lottery Racetrack Table Games Act.
In terms of large scale gambling establishments, there are 4 pari-mutuel facilities and 1 casino resort in West Virginia. However, bars and restaurants are allowed by West Virginia to legally have up to 5 VLT machines. Further, fraternal organizations are legally allowed to have up to 10 VLTs.
The largest casino in West Virginia is the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. It has 3,189 gaming machines and 98 table games. The second largest is Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort, having 2,100 gaming machines and 39 table games.
The 5 casinos in West Virginia, along with any available mid-2016 through mid-2017 actual payout return percentages, are:
- The Casino Club at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, located 120 miles southeast of Charleston, a casino resort. Its payout return percentage is not available;
- Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in Charles Town, located 320 miles northeast of Charleston, a pari-mutuel horse racing facility. Its payout return percentage was 89.92%;
- Mardi Gras Casino & Resort in Cross Lanes, located 10 miles northwest of Charleston, a pari-mutuel dog racing facility. Its payout return percentage was 90.66%;
- Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort in New Cumberland, located 35 miles north of Wheeling, a pari-mutuel horse racing facility. Its payout return percentage was 88.59%; and.
- Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Racetrack in Wheeling, a pari-mutuel dog racing facility. Its payout return percentage was 89.28%.
Summary of West Virginia Slot Machine Casino Gambling
West Virginia slot machine casino gambling consists of 5 large gambling establishments having video lottery terminals (VLTs) controlled by the state lottery. Four of these facilities are dog or horse racing pari-mutuel facilities.
In additional, bars and restaurants are legally allowed to have up to 5 VLTs. Further, fraternal organizations in West Virginia are legally allowed to have up to 10 video lottery terminal machines.
Other State-By-State Articles from Professor Slots
- Main: Slot Machine Casino Gambling, State-By-State
- Previous: Washington Slot Machine Casino Gambling 2018 – Washington slot machine casino gambling consists of tribal casinos with video lottery terminal style slot machines run by a tribal lottery system. Minimum payout is 75%. Maximum wager is $5, but $20 on 15% of slots. None of the tribes in Washington state are legally required to release actual payout returns for slots.
- Next: Wisconsin Slot Machine Casino Gambling 2018 – Wisconsin slot machine casino gambling consists of slot machines available at 22 American Indian tribal casinos operated by 11 federally recognized tribes. Through state-tribal compacts available online, payout returns may be between a minimum of 80% and a maximum of 100%. Actual payout returns are not reported.
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