West Virginia offers many forms of legalized gambling. This can be fun for residents while generating tax revenue and jobs in the state, but there can be a downside: some players do not know when to stop. There are several ways to prevent getting in over your head or to seek help if you need it.
Set a spending limit at a casino
As with any entertainment or shopping experience, the customer should set a spending cap on a trip to the casino. It is best to bring cash to the casino, up to your spending limit. That way you can leave your ATM card at home and avoid those fees and temptation to withdraw more money if you go bust.
When you hit your limit, you will be unable to withdraw more. That gets you home on time with the amount that you accepted as a maximum loss, while at the same time leaving more for another trip or expenses.
Learn how to play the games
Many casino games require a degree of skill. The more strategy a player learns, the longer your budget will last. If there is a degree of skill in your favorite game, it is important to learn it. This will help your budget last longer.
Play on days with lower minimum bets
Table-game players know that minimum bets can be higher on weekends than during the week. Sometimes, minimums are also higher at night. Table-game players with smaller bankrolls will want to visit during the week or in the morning to avoid the higher limits, which can cause larger swings and can lead, in speedier fashion, to a busted bankroll.
Responsible online gambling
Online gambling is a convenient way to play, and all regulated sites have “responsible gambling” protections. These may include a daily, weekly, or monthly limit on deposits or losses, “cooldown” periods where players may lock their accounts for a set period, or a way to opt out of certain games. It is important to use these features if you feel out of control or out of your comfortable gambling range.
Self-exclusion from live and online casinos
All of West Virginia’s live and online casinos have a self-exclusion feature. This is where a player decides that they no longer want to be permitted to play at an establishment or website. There is a form to fill out. The self-exclusion period may last a year or a lifetime, depending on the type of services offered at the casino and the jurisdiction’s options.
Online casinos and sportsbooks will display these options in their responsible-gambling sections. You may also be able to go to your state gaming commission, live or online, and file to exclude yourself from all licensed establishments.
It is important to note that a self-exclusion may go beyond the location where you submit the application. Depending on the jurisdiction and company, it may cover a geographical area or an entire portfolio of casinos. It is important to ask questions about what the self-exclusion includes before completing the process. Some (but not necessarily all) self-exclusions are irrevocable.
West Virginia Gamblers Anonymous
Video lottery, live casino, sportsbook and online casino betting can become a problem for some West Virginians. There are resources available.
There are six Gamblers Anonymous meeting locations in West Virginia. You can find their addresses here.
West Virginia National Council on Problem Gambling
The National Council on Problem Gambling also has a program for West Virginians who seek help for gambling issues. Those resources are found here.