Updated on November 13, 2019
West Virginia is the 5th State to offer legalized sports betting. The West Virginia Lottery Commission handed out its first licenses to Penn National’s Hollywood Casino and FanDuel at The Greenbriar on August 10, 2018. All five casinos in the state were eventually awarded sports betting licenses throughout that year.
However, Mardis Gras Casino and Wheeling Island Casino both had to suspend their WV sportsbooks in March of 2019. The BetLucky app that both locations shared was also shutdown. Delaware North, the casinos’ parent company, ran into contractual issues with their sports betting supplier Miomni Gaming. Both casinos are working towards launching sports betting in West Virginia again, but an exact timeline is unclear right now.
West Virginia Sportsbooks
The five casinos where you can go to place sports bets are:
- The Greenbrier – FanDuel Sportsbook is both the online and land-based sports betting provider.
- Hollywood Casino Charles Town Races – Hollywood Casino’s sportsbook is operated by William Hill US. DraftKings is the casino’s online sports betting supplier.
- Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort – William Hill operates the casino’s retail sportsbook.
- Mardi Gras Casino & Resort – Operations currently suspended.
- Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Racetrack – Operations currently suspended.
Legal Sports Betting apps in West Virginia
The state’s online gambling industry has included mobile horse betting platforms for years. The launch of BetLucky on Dec 27, 2018, created the second approved form of internet gambling in West Virginia. However, its operations were short-lived as the app was indefinitely shut down in March of 2019. Online sports bettors in West Virginia were in the dark for March Madness and for much of the Summer.
It wasn’t until August of 2019 that FanDuel Sportsbook’s online platform launched through its partnership with the Greenbrier. DraftKings followed only days later and launched another sports betting app in West Virginia through their partnership with Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.
In-person registration is not required for online sportsbooks in W.V. so anyone can make an account from anywhere in the state. The apps are geo-fenced so you’ll have to be within state lines in order to put money down on sports.
West Virginia Gaming Law
Sports betting made it onto West Virginia’s statute books before the Supreme Court overturned PASPA. The state was unimpressed with the intrusion into state’s rights and vehemently argued that PASPA breached the 10th amendment to the Constitution.
Back in 2017, the state legislature said:
The U.S. Congress has no power to prevent state governments from authorizing sports betting as a form of gaming and therefore, the Legislature finds that it is reasonable and appropriate, for the State of West Virginia to proceed with legalizing sports pool betting pursuant to this article
State Senator Ryan Ferns filed bill S415 which quickly passed both through the upper and lower chambers. Gov. Jim Justice couldn’t bring himself to sign the bill, but in the absence of a veto, the bill became law on March 3, 2018, two months before the Supreme Court ruling on PASPA.
The West Virginia sports betting law sets the minimum age for sports betting either on or offline at 21. The five state casinos paid $100,000 for their licenses, which is at the cheaper end of the regulatory burden in other states.
State gambling taxes on sports betting are low at 10%. That low rate means that the odds offered are competitive with the black market offshore sites. There is now no reason to go offshore to make sports bets if you are in West Virginia.
There were other forms of online gambling that were legalized in 2019. At the beginning of the year, State Rep Shawn Fluharty introduced House Bill 2934.
The bill legalized online gambling including casino games and poker. The WV Lottery Commission came out in opposition, but that wasn’t enough to change a few legislative minds. The bill sailed through both legislative chambers and became law without the need for a governor’s signature in March of 2019.
West Virginia Sports Betting FAQs
What is the West Virginia sports betting tax rate?
The tax rate set on West Virginia sportsbooks is 10% of the revenue they keep after paying out winners. It is one of the lowest tax rates in the country.
When will Mardi Gras Casino and Wheeling?
A timeline for when those two casinos will reopen their sportsbooks is still unclear. It will depend on when their parent company, Delaware North, can get a new sports betting provider fo these two locations.
Who regulates sports betting in West Virginia?
The West Virginia Lottery Commission is the agency in charge of regulating sports betting in the state.