With the Supreme Court finding the 1992 PASPA unconstitutional and leaving the legality of sports gambling to individual states, West Virginia was quick to become one of the first states to fully legalize sports betting in 2018. Sportsbooks are now available at land-based casinos as well as online. Sports gamblers looking to place a bet in West Virginia now have the full confidence and cooperation from their state legislators. The state has been reacting very quickly to the Supreme Court decision and had many key laws in place even before the ruling was handed down all in a successful effort to have sports betting live before the start of college football season. The new world of legal sports gambling is underway in the United States and West Virginia is one of the states leading the way.
WEST VIRGINIA CASINOS AND SPORTS BETTING
Since West Virginia sports betting went live, there are now land-based sportsbooks available in several places throughout the state. Five casinos – Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, Mardi Gras Casino and Resort Cross Lanes, Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort, Wheeling Island Hotel, and The Casino Club at The Greenbrier – all carry sportsbooks live on their grounds. Four of these casinos are also thoroughbred and/or greyhound racetracks and The Greenbrier is a very exclusive and private casino which just so happens to be owned by Gov. Jim Justice. The casinos all have slot machines and the popular table games like blackjack, craps, or roulette and now they will have sportsbooks as well, just like any casino in Nevada. The state has been reacting quickly to the new sports betting law, working diligently to get regulations live and sportsbooks open after a new law passed earlier in the year. More licenses and sportsbooks are expected in the coming months and years. The places that sports betting will be coming to in West Virginia include:
- Wheeling Island Hotel
- Mardi Gras Casino and Resort Cross Lanes
- Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
- Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort
- The Casino Club at The Greenbrier
WEST VIRGINIA SPORTS BETTING ONLINE
As part of the sweeping state legislation legalizing sports gambling, West Virginia has also legalized online sports wagering as a part of a new law, which will allow gamblers to place sports wagers via legitimate betting applications and sports betting sites. The technology is in place and live with the FanDuel Sportsbook already up and running with plenty more to come. The FanDuel Sportsbook has a website as well as an easily downloadable app. Every type of sport and wager is available in the online sportsbooks.
However, you must be in the state of West Virginia to access their online sportsbooks. It is important to remember that you do not need to be a resident of the state in order to register for a real-money online sports betting account. This means sports gamblers from Ohio, Pennsylvania, or Maryland could simply cross into the state and register an account and place sports wagers while on West Virginia soil. Millions of people live within driving distance of West Virginia’s borders, not to mention its five casinos and sportsbooks, so there will be plenty of action taken from neighboring states who have lagged behind in sports betting regulation and legislation. The online sportsbooks are able to determine if you are on West Virginia soil via the geo-tracking available on smart devices and computers.
BACKSTORY OF WEST VIRGINIA SPORTS BETTING
West Virginia has long been an aggressive state when it comes to all things gambling. Whether it is casinos, horse-racing, greyhound racing, or lottery games, West Virginia has always shown interest in regulating the industry. Thanks to the court case brought by the state of New Jersey and the United States Supreme Court ruling which essentially legalized sports gambling and allowed all states other than just Nevada to legalize and regulate wagering, West Virginia was the first state to pass a new law in the wake of that decision and jump into the water. The West Virginia Lottery Commission is overseeing the state’s sports betting industry. As mentioned, West Virginia was one of the few states, along with Mississippi and New Jersey, to have bills in waiting in the statehouse before the Supreme Court ruling even came down. This gave state legislators that much more time in order to get the state’s sportsbooks open as soon as they could.
The goal was to be operational before the very popular football season. Football, NFL or NCAA, is the most popular sport in the United States, but it is also the most popular sport to wager on. Not only did they want to be open for football season, but they also wanted to be open online quickly. Of course, now they are, however, legal online sports gambling requires different legislative needs as land-based. West Virginia was not only prepared for this but also experienced. Online gambling and lottery games have been available in West Virginia for years now and operate with their own set of rules and laws outside of land-based casinos. Using this expertise, West Virginia was able to legalize sports gambling online as well as on land-based sportsbooks.
WEST VIRGINIA SPORTS BETTING PARTNERSHIPS
There are many sports gambling companies eager to get in on all the new revenue potential spreading across the land, which, of course, includes West Virginia. Thus far, there have already been a few partnerships established. Penn National who runs Hollywood Casino has partnered with William Hill US for their sportsbook needs and The Greenbrier has partnered with FanDuel Sportsbook for their expertise. Other licenses have been sold and are on there way to partnership and we are sure to see many more very soon, especially dealing with online sports gambling as this is the market with the highest revenue potential. DraftKings Sportsbook, Bet365, 888 Sportsbook, and BetStars, all have a major interest in West Virginia and for good reason. The law of the land oversaw by West Virginia’s Lottery, says that online sportsbooks will have to be connected to land-based casinos and sportsbooks. However, each casino is allowed three products, allowing multiple companies to be able to operate from one casino. This only allows for more partnerships to come.