Residents of West Virginia have enjoyed various gambling activities for many years. More specifically, parimutuel horse racing gambling was introduced in West Virginia a long time ago in 1933.
That same year, the state’s legislators passed the Sports Lottery Wagering Act to allow retail sports betting activities within the state’s borders. Shortly after the Sports Lottery Wagering Act was enforced, Penn National was granted the required license to operate.
When discussing the history of gambling activities in West Virginia, we have to mention the state’s first legal lottery established in 1984. After state legislators passed another statewide referendum in 1994, West Virginia welcomed the very first video lottery terminals.
Back in the day, only local racetracks were allowed to offer video lottery terminals. In 2001, restaurants and bars were allowed to offer VLTs. In 2007, state legislators passed new gambling laws and regulations that allowed licensed racetracks to offer table games.
When it comes to WV casinos online, the very first online casino in the state started operating in late 2020. At the same time, there are many land-based casinos operating in the state including Hollywood Casino located at Charles Town Races in Charles Town, and The Casino Club in Greenbrier.
West Virginia Online Casino Industry
West Virginia is one of several US states which have legalized online casinos. As of today, online casinos can legally operate in the states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
The state’s online casino industry launched in 2020 after twelve months of preparations. The state’s legislators legalized online casinos in March of 2019 after passing House Bill 2934.
Following passing House Bill 2934, gambling establishments operating in the state were finally allowed to offer remote gaming licenses to interested online gambling operators. House Bill 2934 legalized online table games and slots.
Shortly after online casinos were legalized in the state, major US iGaming brands joined the scene. With mobile gambling activities thriving in the state, most online gambling operators offer great mobile gambling platforms.
Just like in other states, online casinos that want to operate in the state of West Virginia must partner with land-based gambling establishments. So, BetMGM Casino operates with The Greenbrier casino while BetRivers Casino partnered with Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort.
Caesars Online Casino partnered with Caesars Casino Atlantic City while DraftKings Casino partnered with Hollywood Casino located at Charles Town. Golden Nugget Hotel Casino partnered with FanDuel Casino.
Online Casino Revenues Rising in West Virginia
As estimated at the end of 2021, the online gaming industry in West Virginia recorded a major spike when it comes to collected revenues. More specifically, the iGaming handle in the state was around $280 million at the end of December.
When compared to the iGaming handle recorded in November ($198 million), there has been a major 41% increase. In December of 2021, the state’s online gambling operators generated over $8 million in online gambling revenues.
In November, they generated over $5 million. Hence, in December, online gaming revenues collected increased by over 46% when compared to online gambling revenues collected the previous month.
The West Virginia state made over $1,3 million in December from taxes only. In 2021, the state collected over $8,2 million in taxes. In 2021, the total gaming handle in West Virginia surpassed $2 billion, and revenues collected exceeded $61 million.
Thanks to looser gambling laws and regulations, more operators will join the West Virginia iGaming scene in the months to come. In addition to looser laws and regulations, remote gaming licenses issued by the West Virginia lottery are valid for at least five years.
iGaming operators’ revenues are taxed at a fixed rate of 15% which is another benefit of operating in the state. With this being said, the West Virginia iGaming scene is deemed to expand massively in the months to come.