It was 27th March 2019 when West Virginia (WV) finally legalised online casinos. That being said, it wouldn’t be until July of the following year when the first online casinos officially opened their doors to players. What happened in WV is somewhat of a familiar tale: the successes of New Jersey had been witnessed and so this state wanted in on the action too.
It was Delegate Fluharty who had taken a keen interest in what was happening over in New Jersey. He had witnessed how gambling had evolved and how land-based casinos worked hand in hand with online ones, and neither suffered because of the other. What he also saw were the profits. In his mind, a move towards online casinos, and the legalisation of online gambling, would ensure that the pensioners of WV would go on to lead easier lives as they retired. Let’s take a look at the journey that WV took to reach where we are today.
The bills that allowed for online casinos in West Virginia
It was bill 2934 that saw online gambling legalised in WV and allowed for the creation of online casinos. How this came about was more than just a little bit curious. You see, the laws in WV are a little different to those in other states. While the bill passed on 9th March, it didn’t become law until 15 days later, and it was a total of 90 days before it was effective. Why was this the case, you may wonder. Well, it’s down to the fact that there was simply no challenge put in. Many will argue that it was actually the inaction of Governor Justice that led to the existence of online casinos in the state.
It’s worth noting that this bill wasn’t WV’s first attempt at legalising online gamblings. Two bills had come before and each had been torn to shreds. It was surprising, to say the least, that bill 2934 just seemed to sail through with no real issues.
How WV paved the way for daily fantasy sports
Penn National was first to obtain a betting license and this saw Hollywood Casino being seen as a trailblazer for the state. After taking its first online wager, suddenly there were three other sportsbooks putting in an appearance and taking bets online.
The thing with WV law is that there are no restrictions when it comes to the number of skins or white label sites that a sportsbook can have. This meant that the state was the ideal environment to launch daily fantasy sports. Doing this brought new partners into WV, and these were seriously big operators.
The set-up in WV meant that giant companies such as Flutter, FanDuel, and DraftKings all wanted in on the action. With big players like this entering the market, what do you think may have happened next? Of course, more big names want to find their way in to be part of the WV online gambling scene.
Costly mistakes in West Virginia
Delegate Fluharty shone a light on some of the inadequacies at the WVLC. He saw this body as unnecessarily delaying the live date for online casinos and, in doing so, caused them to miss out on a huge opportunity.
Like the rest of the country, Covid ripped through WV and we were all advised to stay at home. With land-based casinos locking their doors, players turned online to find their favourite games. This led to a massive boom in the online casino industry, but delay after delay saw WV missing the boat.
Covid had a major impact on this state. Being a relatively rural area, many small businesses have suffered. There are those who want to help and they believe they can do so by firming up the online gambling space. In fact, senator Mike Maroney is keen to see the laws revisited so that they can do their utmost to help online casinos thrive.
The best place to play blackjack in West Virginia
WV has some great casinos where blackjack can be enjoyed. There are no rules here that govern the rules, or the payouts, so you might want to shop around and ensure that you’re only at the most player-friendly establishments.
If you have no idea where to start when it comes to choosing where to play blackjack in WV, here are two casinos that are well worth exploring:
The Greenbrier offers a promise. That promise is to offer members “the grandest casino experience”. It certainly got out of its way to deliver. The casino boasts 37 tables covering casino games such as roulette, baccarat, craps, and, of course, blackjack.
When playing blackjack here, you’ll find that there are 6 and 8-deck games. With the 8-deck tables, the minimum wager is $15 and the dealer must hit soft 17. The 6-deck game comes with a minimum wager of $50 and here the dealer must stand on all 17s.
Whereas The Greenbrier is for members, the Mountaineer opens its doors to any players aged 21 and over. This is the casino that is often referred to as being the best one to play blackjack at while in WV. You’ll find three variations of the game here and, generally, the dealer has to stand on soft 17.
What blackjack games are featured at WV online casinos?
The online casinos of WV do an amazing job when it comes to catering for blackjack fans. Perhaps some of the best on offer come from BetMGM. This company offers eight first-person blackjack games and features innovative titles such as Blackjack Millionaire pro.
You’ll also find that BetMGM operates a sportsbook so there is certainly plenty going on to keep gamblers entertained.
What other games can you play in West Virginia?
Aside from blackjack, there are plenty of other casino games on offer when playing in WV. You’ll find that online casinos have an abundance of options when it comes to games such as roulette and baccarat. While live dealer games may be missing, these RNG versions mean that you’re always guaranteed a seat at the table.
Slots are a big deal in WV, and there seems to be a huge interest in progressive jackpots. There are no fewer than 12 of these to play and they include classics such as All You Can Spin Sushi and Melon Madness Deluxe.
Which online games are best to play in WV?
According to operators in WV, the most popular blackjack game played in the state is Premium Blackjack Pro.
When it comes to slots, there are so many to choose from, but some of the most popular titles have to be:
- Dead or Alive
- Gonzo’s Quest
- Twin Spin Mega ways
Certainly, when you’re looking at playing at an online casino for the first time, you need to be mindful of the bonuses that are on offer. While there are plenty of great blackjack bonuses up for grabs, you’ll find even more that can be used when playing slots. If you’re going to try these games, you may as well do at the casinos that offer you the best rewards.
Are online casino winnings taxable in WV?
Just as with other states, winnings here are subjected to federal tax at 24% (28% in some circumstances). When it comes to local taxes in WV, these are pretty favorable. The taxes that apply to big winners range from 2% to 5.75%. To pay this higher rate you’ll need to have won over $17,0001.