West Virginia didn’t quite have to wait until May 2018 to legalize sports betting. Instead, the state went ahead and passed the West Virginia sports betting bill known as the Sports Lottery Wagering Act in March that same year, laying the groundwork for the WV sports betting industry. Today, WV is the fifth state that has successfully introduced the activity and joins alongside other 13 that have done so since PASPA was repealed.
Is It Legal to Bet on Sports in West Virginia?
Yes. West Virginia showed both foresight and determination to be among the states that bring sports betting online, and that just so happened before PASPA was finally repealed. As per PASPA, only a handful of states were exempted from the federal ban, including Nevada, Montana, Oregon, and Delaware.
And so, this is how WV sports betting came to be. The first venue to roll out fully was the Hollywood Casino in Charles Town – a venue with historic significance for the industry. The sportsbook introduced the activity on August 30, 2018, just on time for the 2018/2019 NFL Season.
The launch was also subject to some speculation and initially, there were rumors that WV might miss the deadline, but business and lawmakers rallied.
Sports Betting Locations
As of today, there are three locations in West Virginia that offer sports betting. Originally, there were five. They include:
- Hollywood Casino
- Mountaineer Casino
- The Greenbrier
- Mardi Gras Casino (operations suspended in April 2019)
- Wheeling Island (operations suspended April 2019)
The first one to arrive was Hollywood Casino in Charles Town, which teamed up with DraftKings. The second to arrive was Mountaineer Casino in New Cumberland on November 21, 2018. Then came The Greenbrier which found a strong partner in the face of FanDuel.
December brought a fresh salvo of casinos with Mardi Gras Casino and Wheeling Island opening their retail sportsbooks. This led to online betting in WV expanding with the addition of the BetLucky.com website, but the activity was soon suspended. Mind, FanDuel, and DraftKings had already launched their mobile apps by that time.
The partnership fell through after Delaware North, the owner of the two properties, filed a lawsuit against Miomni Gaming and CEO Michael P. Venner. In the lawsuit, Delaware North claimed that Miomni had misrepresented ‘its stake of the ownership’ of the sports betting platform it had provided. In April 2019, the activity was suspended and WV settled for running three gaming venues.
|Name of the Property||Address||Phone|
|Hollywood Casino x DraftKings||750 Hollywood Dr, Charles Town, WV 25414, United States||+1 304-725-7001|
|Mountaineer Casino x Williams Hill||1420 Mountaineer Cir, New Cumberland, WV 26047, United States||+1 800-804-0468|
|The Greenbrier x FanDuel||101 W Main St, White Sulphur Springs, WV 24986, United States||+1 844-837-2466|
Hollywood Casino x DraftKings
Hollywood Casino has picked its friends well and DraftKings currently boosts the sports offered at the venue. There are a number of sports you can bet on at the sportsbook, including:
- Golf & others
There are over 12 sports you can pick from. Similarly, you can pick from a number of WV sports betting options, such as straight bets, parlays, match-ups, futures, props, and in-play betting options.
On a technological level, the venue is very well-equipped. You will enjoy 24 odds-display monitors and a 50-feet wall that hosts 80-inch TVs to guarantee the best viewership experience.
The ‘book’ is located just off the casino next to the Skybox Sports Bar where you can grab something to eat after you have finished placing your wagers.
- Monday – Thursday 10 AM – 12 AM
- Friday 10AM – 1AM
- Saturday 9 AM – 1 AM
- Sunday 9 AM – 12 AM
Keep in mind that these hours may change seasonally.
Mountaineer Casino x Williams Hill
Adding a worthy partner in the face of William Hill definitely should signal the company’s determination to stay on top of the sports betting game, come what may. Mountaineer Casino is perfectly equipped to provide bettors with precisely what they need.
You will be able to pick from a number of different types of bets, including straight bet, parlay, futures, propositions, teaser, round-robin.
The sportsbook similarly covers quite a few sports that makes it a worthy venue for anyone in West Virginia looking for proper sports betting action. Here’re the sports you can pick from:
- Auto Racing
There are additional perks such as player tracking to make the experience completely worth your while. As William Hill puts it – there’s no better way to catch the action.
- Monday-Thursday – 10 AM – 12 AM
- Friday – 10 AM -1 AM
- Saturday – 9 AM-1 AM
- Sunday 9 AM – 12 AM
The Greenbrier x FanDuel
The Greenbrier is a fantastic casino and sportsbook and their partnership with FanDuel definitely gives them a slight edge, all things considered. The pair teamed up back in August 26, 2019, debuting the FanDuel mobile sportsbook app to make sure that the state’s sports fans will have a place to go to and wager.
Naturally, the retail operations have been ongoing for a while now. The sportsbook arrived on September 13, 2019, offering betting enthusiasts quite a few decent options to place a wager. There are 21 neat TV screens inside the venue to help you track the games and have a blast.
History of Sports Betting
Before we plunge into modern-day WV sports betting, let’s take a moment to consider some of the state’s history. First, the Charles Town Races have been a part of the activity’s fabric for decades. In fact, the first such event was held back in 1933, hence the reason why Hollywood Casino opened there.
With gambling remaining a mostly unregulated activity throughout the years, it took until 1984 to establish the West Virginia Lottery Commission. While wagering on the outcome of sports took a back seat, later in 1994 the state successfully passed laws to allow betting on several activities, including video poker, slots, and blackjack. This was followed by another expansion in 2001, when the Video Lottery Act was passed, allowing more terminals to arrive at off-racetrack venues, such as bars all throughout the state.
In 2007, racetracks saw the arrival of table games as well as video lottery terminals, re-trenching the popularity of gambling activities in the states. For the next ten years, everyone would seem happy with the achieved progress.
In 2016, Lawmakers Make New Regulatory Efforts
New Jersey did make sports betting happen across the U.S. However, if the Garden State had failed, West Virginia would have been there to pick up the ball.
In 2016, WV Attorney General Patrick Morrissey joined New Jersey in arguing the right of individual states to have legal sports betting. In fact, five states as well as the American Gaming Association (AGA), filed amicus briefs to back NJ’s efforts in establishing a sports betting industry in the United States. The states included:
At the time, AGA president and CEO Geoff Freeman even cited the opinion of President-elect Donald J. Trump who had just stepped into office. Here’s what Mr. Freeman wrote to ESPN, a popular sports network:
“As President-elect Donald Trump has acknowledged, illegal sports betting is a thriving industry The 24-year-old federal ban — which is breathing life into a $150 billion illegal sports betting market — threatens the integrity of games, presents fundamental questions about states’ sovereignty to define their own laws and combat crime within their borders, and prevents fans from engaging with the sports they enjoy in a safe, legal way.”
Mr. Freeman urged the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to let states address the serious problem, as he describes it, of illegal sports betting.
2017: WV Sports Betting Legalization Efforts Take Shape
With 2016 being the year of a major upheaval in the White House, sports betting began to take shape in West Virginia, too – only it took until 2017.
In March that year, H 2751 was introduced and its simple was simple enough – legalize the majority of professional and collegiate sports.
The bill also garnered impressive support, including backing from delegates Fluharty, Hornbuckle, McGeehan, Storch, Barrett, Sponaugle, White, Bates, Canestaro, Wilson, and Pushkin.
The state seemed fully intent to push through sports betting legislation. To this end, WV commissioned a $160,000 study to gauge prospects for potentially legalizing the industry on its own, rather than relying on external factors – such as a possible PASPA repeal.
WV got in touch with California-based Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, an analytics company focusing on the business of sports wagers. The company was tasked with assessing the economic impact of implementing the industry.
Shawn Fluharty Comes Back in 2018
With 2017 being just a tentative effort to bring the activity online, Delegate Shawn Fluharty re-introduced his bill and focused on seeing it throw the House. Similarly, a matching Senate Bill 106 (S 106) was introduced at the same time.
The WV Lottery Commission – the body that would end up regulating the entire industry – also made its own attempt captured in S 415, a separate third bill that same year. With a SCOUT ruling expected to play out favorably, WV began focusing on establishing a groundwork for the industry.
Surprisingly, WV quickly found support in the face of the NBA and MLB, which agreed to give their official nod. Yet, they expected integrity fees – ill-defined taxes that each sportsbook would have had to pay the league to upkeep, as the name suggested, the integrity of the sport.
The integrity fees were called out by businesses and even some lawmakers, and with the leagues unable to explain what precisely those fees would have done, the issue was dropped.
What’s interesting about WV is that S 415 and the matching H 4396 made it through all legislative bodies, ending up law with the help of Gov. Jim Justice who acquiesced to the billс, but without landing his signature to any.
On August 30, 2018, Hollywood Casino took its first wager – it was the first year of sports betting in WV.
|1933||The Charles Town Races begins, becoming a landmark venue for any gambling and betting activity in future.|
|1984||WV establishes the state’s Lottery Commission, which will regulate the segment for years to come.|
|1994||Residents could now bet on various slots, blackjack and video poker.|
|2001||The Limited Video Lottery Act is promulgated and various non-gambling venues begin offering video lottery terminals.|
|2007||Racetracks in the state begin offering table games and various games on-site.|
|2016||WV and four other states join New Jersey to request that the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the federal betting ban known as PASPA.|
|2017||H 2751 is introduced by Shawn Fluharty and WV commissions a $160,000 study to gauge the impact of sports betting in the state.|
|2018||A final push is made, and West Virginia legalizes sports betting in March. New Jersey defeats PASPA with a SCOTUS ruling in May, and Hollywood Casino takes the first wager on August 30, 2018.|
WV had a rather smooth start in its online betting industry. In December 2018, Mardi Gras Casino and Wheeling Island, the Delaware North-owned companies, came online with BetLucky.com, making WV the third state to offer digital wagers. In April 2019, the digital skins were suspended over irregularities with the supplier – who had lied about owning a proprietor software, and caused multiple outages, prompting DN to sever all ties.
Following that, FanDuel and DraftKings remained the only company to offer mobile betting, thanks to the dedicated company app in the state. Both FanDuel and DraftKings had their apps up and running on time for the 2018/2019 NFL Season in August, and the DN saga just proved another business opportunity for them.
Other Types of Bets
There are lots of possible bets you can place in WV. All locations in the state, focus on fairly the same types of wagers whereas some may offer something different. If any such changes occur, they are most commonly seasonal. Here’re a few examples based on the available WV sportsbooks information:
- Straight bets
- In-play betting
- Round robin
Other than that, there are a number of activities you can experience and bet on besides sports. They include:
- Video slots
- Table games
- Greyhound & horse races
West Virginia offers support to those who need assistance to cope with problem gambling. The state works with the National Council on Problem Gambling which can be contacted on the following numbers:
- Call: 1-800-522-4700
- Text: 1-800-522-4700
Lawmakers have also created a special initiative known as The Problem Gamblers Help Network of West Virginia which has already helped over 13,000 people in the state. The Network is available 24/7 and you can contact them at:
- [email protected]
Offshore Sports Betting
West Virginia has a lenient attitude towards any sports betting activity that happens off the shores of the U.S. As a sports fans, you may still bet offshore if you prefer, but you will similarly have to deal with some complications – such as slower transfers, for example. Legally, the WV Lottery Commission does not interfere with individuals’ personal choices of a betting venue. However, running pools in WV or trying to host unregulated sports betting on a scale similar to sportsbooks is considered a crime and persecuted by law. Keep in mind that state sportsbooks may uphold higher standards in protecting sports fans as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
21. You can place your first sports bet as soon as you are 21 years old.
The West Virginia Lottery Commission. WV Lottery Commission was established in 1984 and it has been in charge of regulating sports betting since 2018. Similarly, greyhound and horse races are regulated by the West Virginia Racing Commission.
Yes. West Virginia has established a number of regulatory measures and safety nets to guarantee the safety of players. The Problem gamblers Help Network of West Virginia is one of the most successful such initiatives, having helped 13,000 sports fans already.
Yes. You can bet at both DraftKings and FanDuel’s mobile apps and on any sport that you are interested in. There used to be other online apps available, but they were suspended in April 2019 due to a supplier signing a contract under false pretenses.