Introduction to West Virginia Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2019
West Virginia slot machine casino gambling consists of five casinos including one casino resort and four pari-mutuel wagering facilities with slot machines. Bars, restaurants, and fraternal organizations may have up to ten video lottery terminals (VLTs).
This post continues the weekly series Online Resource: A State-By-State Slot Machine Casino Gambling Series, an online resource dedicated to guiding slot machine casino gambling enthusiasts to success. Each weekly post reviews slots gambling in a single U.S. state, territory, or the federal district.
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Relevant Legal Statutes on Gambling in West Virginia*
The minimum legal gambling age in West Virginia depends upon the gambling activity:
- Land-Based Casinos: 21
- Poker Rooms: 21
- Bingo: 18
- Lottery: 18
- Pari-Mutuel Wagering: 21
In 1994, West Virginia legalized video lottery terminals at their thoroughbred and greyhound racetracks. Machine restrictions at these pari-mutuel wagering facilities include approval by the local county and having:
- Many versions of poker
In 1999, West Virginia began allowing physical reel slot machines at licensed racetrack racinos
In 2001, West Virginia passed a bill allowing these VLTs in bars, restaurants, and fraternal organizations. Bars and restaurants can have up to five VLTs and fraternal organizations up to ten VLTs. The Limited Video Lottery Act also imposed the state total of VLTs to 9,000 electronic gaming machines.
*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 in West Virginia
It is legal to own a slot machine in West Virginia privately.
Gaming Control Board in West Virginia
The West Virginia Lottery Commission controls all VLT gaming regulations. After a 67% voter approval, the West Virginia Lottery was created in 1984 with Article VI, section 36 in the Constitution of West Virginia.
Afterward, West Virginia legalized VLTs with subsequent amendments, acts, rules, and statutes. Each of these statutes is available at the West Virginia Lottery’s Rules and Regulations.
Casinos in West Virginia
There are four pari-mutuel racetracks and one casino resort with slot machines in West Virginia
In mid-2018, these casinos had a total of 5,841 gaming machines available for playing 18 different games. Another 1,470 retail locations with five to ten VLTs have a variety of eleven games
The largest casino in West Virginia is Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races having more than 2,500 gaming machines and 98 table games including a 16-table poker room.
The second largest casino is Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort having 1,525 gaming machines and 36 table games.
List of Casinos in West Virginia
The five casinos in West Virginia are:
- The Casino Club at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs is a casino resort located 120 miles southeast of Charleston.
- Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in Charles Town is a horse racing racino located 320 miles northeast of Charleston
- Mardi Gras Casino & Resort in Cross Lanes is a dog racing racino located 10 miles northwest of Charleston
- Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort in New Cumberland is a horse racing racino located 35 miles north of Wheeling
- Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Racetrack in Wheeling is a dog racing racino
List of Tribal Casinos in West Virginia
West Virginia has no federally-recognized tribes and, therefore, no tribal casinos.
Other Gambling Establishments
As an alternative to enjoying West Virginia slot machine casino gambling, consider exploring casino options in a nearby state. Bordering West Virginia is:
- North: Maryland Slots and Pennsylvania Slots
- East and South: Virginia Slots
- West: Kentucky Slots and Ohio Slots
Each of the links above will take you to my state-specific blog for that neighboring state to West Virginia.
Payout Returns in West Virginia
West Virginia has two sets of payout limits. For racetrack racinos and the casino resort, the limits are 80% and 99.9%.
For the non-casino environment such as bars, restaurants, and fraternal organizations, these limits are 80% and 95%.
Further, the five to ten VLTs allowed at non-casino environments must obtain individual permissions to have a greater than 92% payout return. These so-called high payout terminals must twice obtain Commission approval including:
- Written consent prior to manufacturing
- Approval before applying for testing
The annual actual payout return percentage for all casinos in West Virginia was 92.92% in 2018 per the Commission’s Financial Reports under the News and Info –> Information tab at the West Virginia Lottery.
The West Virginia entry from the American Casino Guide’s slots payback statistics offers further payout return statistics by casino facility. However, these values are not reported online by the state.
Our West Virginia Slots Facebook Group
Are you interested in sharing and learning with other slots enthusiasts in West Virginia? If so, join our new West Virginia slots community on Facebook. All you’ll need is a Facebook profile to freely join this closed Facebook Group.
There, you’ll be able to privately share your slots experiences as well as chat with players about slots gambling in or near West Virginia. Come join us!
Summary of West Virginia Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2019
West Virginia slot machine casino gambling consists of one casino resort, four dog or horse racetrack racinos, and 1,470 retailers. The four casinos may have gaming machines with up to 18 different games as well as slots with physical reels. Retailers may have five or ten video lottery terminals with as many as 11 different games
Payout return limits are different for casinos versus retailers, although both have an identical minimum payout return limit of 80%. Casinos have a 99.9% maximum payout return limit.
However, retailers have a 95% maximum payout return limit with restrictions. Multiple Commission approvals are required for machines with a greater than 92% payout return limit.
Annual Progress in West Virginia Slot Machine Casino Gambling
Over the last year, there has been little change in the West Virginia gaming industry.
Other State-By-State Articles from Professor Slots
- Online Resource: State-By-State Slot Machine Casino Gambling Series
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- Next: Wisconsin Slot Machine Casino Gambling