Current Sports Betting Status: Legal
West Virginia is the 5th State to offer legalized sports betting. All five state-licensed casinos now offer sports betting and there is one online sports betting app, BetLucky.com. BetLucky can be used by anyone inside the state borders.
The West Virginia Lottery Commission handed out its first licences to Penn National’s Hollywood Casino and FanDuel at The Greenbriar on August 10, 2018.
West Virginia Sportsbooks
The five casinos where you can go to place sports bets are:
- The Greenbrier
- Hollywood Casino Charles Town Races – Hollywood Casino’s sportsbook is operated by William Hill US. Charles Town Races is owned by Penn National Gaming Inc.
- Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort
- Mardi Gras Casino & Resort
- Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Racetrack
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.
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 ruled 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 is hope that other forms of online gambling will be legalized in 2019. At the beginning of the year, State Rep Shawn Fluharty introduced House Bill 2178.
The bill legalizes online gambling including casino games and poker. The WV Lottery Commission has come out in opposition, but the success of sports betting may change a few legislative minds.