Gambling has been legal in West Virginia ever since the settlers first arrived. A few decades ago the state legislature pass law prohibiting gambling, but the were rarely enforced. In the mid 1990s, law enforcement agencies began to a concerted effort to enforce anti-gambling laws already on the books. But it has been difficult. Now there is a new challenge to the gambling laws. Online gambling. Online gambling has now become the preferred method of gambling for a growing number of West Virginians.
There are no laws in West Virginia specifically prohibiting or regulating online gambling. Online poker and casino games are growing in popularity and law enforcement agencies are scrambling to find a pretext under which to ban or regulate gambling online. The Wire Act, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, nor federal law prohibits online gambling in West Virginia. While it isn’t legal to run an online gambling site in the state, there are a number of West Virginia online gaming sites where West Virginians can play poker, casino games, bingo, and bet on sports.
The weakness in the Wire Act is that it doesn’t control online casino games or poker. Federal laws does not prohibit people from participating in online casino or poker games legally licensed and regulated by West Virginia. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 only allows for regulatory oversight on the way online gambling transactions are processed. This has left West Virginia law enforcement in a quandary and given the citizens of West Virginia free reign to play all the online poker, bingo, and poker games they want.
Horse racing was legalized in West Virginia in 1933 and greyhound racing in 1975. Today there are two tracks for horse racing and two for greyhound racing. These tracks are part of facilities called racinos. This means the also have blackjack and poker tables and slot machines. There are also video lottery terminals owned and operated by the Virginia Lottery. With all of these types of gambling legal in the state, cracking down on online gambling in an effective way is almost impossible.
People in West Virginia have access to excellent online poker sites. They offer players an exhilarating, highly rewarding online poker experience. West Virginia Online Sportsbooks allow people state wide to place bets on a variety of sporting events from their homes or office. There are a plethora of legal sports betting sites. These two options create a digital gambling extravaganza with incredible thrills on sophisticated, user-friendly betting interfaces.
In August, 2014 the Charleston Daily New reported the West Virginia lottery is considering an expansion of the online gaming they offer by 2015. This expansion does not need legislative approval.