- Horse and greyhound racing was legalized in West Virginia in 1931, and online gambling was legalized in 2019.
- The state’s first casinos opened their doors in the 1990s.
- West Virginia is home to various world-class casinos, including Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races and Mardi Gras Casino & Resort.
West Virginia is one of the few states where US online casinos are legal, but you occasionally may want a break from online play to visit a live casino. The relatively small state of West Virginia has a lot to offer if you’re interested in casinos and gambling attractions. This state, known for its beautiful natural scenery, including the Appalachian Mountains and many outdoor recreational opportunities, presents many gambling prospects, such as lottery games, casino games and horse racing, with an average annual gaming revenue of no less than $1
So, what are the top casinos and gambling attractions for anyone looking to place a bet in West Virginia? Read on to find out.
History of Gambling in West Virginia
Gambling in West Virginia has been around for many years, but certain aspects of gambling, including horse and greyhound racing, were only legalized in 1931. However, West Virginia’s gambling laws have continued to change over the years. For example, the passing of the West Virginia Lottery Act in 1994 allowed for the creation of a state lottery and laid the groundwork for the expansion of gambling in this state.
In 2007, West Virginia expanded its gambling offerings to include table games, video lottery terminals (similar to slot machines), racetracks and casinos. Authorities also legalized West Virginia online gambling in 2019, making online slots and live dealer online casino games an enjoyable reality for the state’s residents and visitors.
The First Casinos in West Virginia
These days, there’s a wide variety of available online casino games, but imagine the excitement when the first land-based casinos were established in West Virginia in the 1990s. These early casinos were located in the cities of Charles Town and Wheeling and offered many popular games like slot machines, blackjack, roulette, and craps.
The Best West Virginia Casinos
There are a couple of factors to consider if you’re keen on visiting a land-based casino rather than playing online slots or live dealer online casino games in West Virginia.
Of course, the variety and quality of the games on offer are very important. So, too, is the level of customer service and amenities provided. The overall atmosphere and ambiance of the casino, and the accessibility and convenience of its location, are well worth assessing. The best land-based casinos often have a strong reputation and a long history of providing positive gaming experiences for their customers, so be sure to read reviews before planning your big night out.
With these factors in mind, and if you’d like a more immersive atmosphere than is provided by casino games online, these are some of the best casinos West Virginia has to offer.
1. Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
Not only can you visit the Jefferson Museum, the famous Bozzo Family Vineyards, and the River Riders Family Adventure Resort, but you can also take a turn at the famous Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. With nearly 1,900 slots, more than 100 table games, thoroughbred racing, live entertainment, and award-winning dining options, what’s not to like?
This casino is known as a “racino” — a casino built in combination with a race track that hosts regular horse races, and a unique opportunity that isn’t available at many other gambling venues.
2. Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack
Gambling in West Virginia doesn’t get much better than this. Located on Wheeling Island in the middle of the Ohio River, Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack has been a powerful force in Wheeling for more than a century. It was initially created in 1866 as a site for thoroughbred and harness racing. Now, it’s one of the largest tourist attractions in West Virginia with its 151-room hotel, 1,100 slot machines, a 1,000-seat showroom, meeting and banquet services, plus casual and fine dining restaurants, a food court, a gift show, and plenty of parking and amenities. There’s also a full complement of table games, including poker, blackjack, craps and roulette, and the venue has an enticing tropical theme. If you feel like a change of scenery, you could even play some of the best online slots for real money by the pool.
3. Mardi Gras Casino & Resort
This casino, found in the Charleston area of West Virginia, has more than 20 live table games, including poker, blackjack and roulette, and the most popular game titles on nearly 1,000 slot machines. You can also experience the excitement of live and simulcast greyhound racing and multiple dining choices, from food on the go to fabulous fine dining experiences.
4. Mountaineer Casino Resort
If you live in or are visiting northern West Virginia, Mountaineer Casino Resort is your gambling go-to. Tucked away along the Ohio River in the northern panhandle, this resort is the area’s only full-service resort and casino, featuring world-class thoroughbred racing, more than 25 thrilling casino table games, and as many as 1,000 slot machines. Whether you’re a seasoned gambler or just looking for a weekend escape, Mountaineer Casino Resort invites you to roll the dice and try your luck in West Virginia’s northern hills.
5. The Casino Club at The Greenbrier
Five-star accommodations. World-class hospitality. Casino games galore. The Greenbrier, one of the most luxurious hotels in West Virginia, offers a casino to rival all those mentioned above. Deemed America’s only private casino, it’s a top choice for gamblers who prefer a quieter, more peaceful atmosphere than what you typically find on a bustling casino floor. The Casino Club boasts more than 31 casino table games and 160 slot machines.
The Rising Popularity of Online Casinos
There are so many options for enjoying your favorite casino games in West Virginia and in many other U.S. states. But why are online casino games, like online roulette, so popular? There are several key reasons, but the main one is the convenience they offer. With online casino games, players can enjoy their preferred games from the comfort of their own homes without needing to travel to a physical casino. In addition, online casinos often offer a wider variety of games than land-based casinos, and many of them have generous bonuses and promotions that make the gaming experience more enjoyable and rewarding. Remember, many online casino games, like live dealer casino games, can also be played on mobile devices.
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