Legal West Virginia Sports Betting
After years of sitting on the fence, West Virginia has finally legalized sports betting across the state. Indeed, West Virginia is in a truly enviable position in regards to legal sports betting. With five casino and racino venues spread throughout the state, bettors in the state have a solid variety of options for where to place their wagers. The Mountain State has even launched mobile sports wagering apps that can be used by anyone within the state’s borders. These apps are geofenced to the state, so out-of-state bettors can’t use them. Although West Virginia does not have any major professional sports teams representing them, sports betting is still a thriving industry in the state.
With a newly regulated gaming environment in West Virginia, there is a multitude of ways for West Virginia residents to enjoy legal sports betting. Savvy bettors can shop lines with both in-state and online books to ensure they are getting the best odds. West Virginia also has a thriving casino and pari-mutuel wagering industry. You can also legally place wagers at online sportsbooks, which have been offering odds and lines to WV gamblers for decades now. Because West Virginia has some of the most relaxed sports betting laws in the country locals can rest assured that no matter how they choose to place their sports bets, doing so is safe and legal. The Mountain State is all in with sports betting, and the industry is thriving thanks to that commitment.
Is Land-Based Sports Betting Legal In West Virginia?
West Virginia joined the growing group of states with legal sports betting with the legislature passing the Sports Wagering Act on March 3, 2018. The first West Virginia sportsbooks launched on August 30, 2018, though there are now five casinos/racinos in West Virginia that accept sports bets, including the world-famous Greenbrier and at the Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras casinos. The latter two reopened after a 10-month closure due to contract disputes. Anyone in West Virginia can visit one of these land-based sportsbooks to place wagers on their favorite teams.
If heading to a land-based gambling venue for legal West Virginia sports betting is too much of an inconvenience, however, West Virginia residents can still head over to online websites for their sports betting needs. These offshore websites include top-quality, long-lived, reputable brands such as Bovada, SportsBetting, BetOnline, and 5Dimes. Visiting these sites is 100% legal and much usually far more convenient than the alternative since you can easily place your bets in the comfort of your own home.
Is It Legal To Bet On Sports In West Virginia Online?
Yes, it is absolutely legal to bet on sports in West Virginia, whether in-person or online. In fact, West Virginia is one of the few states that has legalized both land-based sports betting and sports betting over the Internet. The state launched its first-ever online sports betting app shortly after legalization, though this was scuttled due to various back-end issues (and a lawsuit is pending against one of the system’s providers). However, since then multiple state casinos with an online sports betting license have deployed a state-wide mobile sports betting app of their own. On top of the state-licensed options that will be rolled out, West Virginia residents also have access to the premier offshore legal sports betting sites. There is truly a multitude of options for people to enjoy legal West Virginia sports betting, online or off.
West Virginia Sports Betting Revenue
Since launching in September 2018, West Virginia sportsbooks have seen an impressive increase in both handle and revenue. With the exception of the very first week of operation, the state’s sportsbooks have handled at least $1 million every week, with major events pulling in anywhere from $3.5 to $5 million per week. In 2019, the first full year of operation, West Virginia’s books handled $169.4 million in wagers, collected $19.1 million in revenue, and paid $1.6 million in state taxes. The state’s online sports betting saw a massive spike in usage during the 2019 NFL season, averaging over $1 million a month in revenue and just under $14 million in total handle.
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Is There Anywhere In West Virginia To Bet On Sports?
There are five venues in West Virginia where you can bet on sports and watch big games. These casino sportsbooks have a large number of wagering options when it comes to how to make your bets. You can wager on numerous sports, such as football, golf, auto racing, MMA, and even cricket. You can make futures bets, parlays, and live sports betting, among other common sports bet types that are available. The West Virginia casino sportsbooks that are able to take sports bets are:
- Hollywood Casino at Charles Town
- Mountaineer Casino in New Cumberland
- Mardi Gras Casino in Cross Lanes
- Wheeling Island Casino in Wheeling
- The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs
On January 31, 2020, the Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island Casinos reopened for the first time after a 10-month hiatus caused by a contract dispute with the two books’ parent company, Miomni Gaming. These re-openings were completed just in time for the two locations to handle Super Bowl LIV bets and came as welcome news for bettors and legislators alike.
Where’s The Closest Place To Me To Bet?
No matter where you are in the West Virginia area, you will find places to bet on sports easily. The Mountain State is home to five land-based sportsbooks, giving residents and tourists in all areas a betting location. You can find betting lines at the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, the Mountaineer Casino in New Cumberland, the Mardi Gras Casino in Cross Lanes, the Wheeling Island Casino in Wheeling, and The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs. All of these casino operators offer full service betting to everyone in West Virginia. The real closest place to wager however is online or on your mobile device. You do not need to travel and online sportsbooks provide the same full-service sports betting that would be found at any of these physical sportsbooks.
|Cross Lanes West Virginia Sportsbooks|
The Mardi Gras Casino had an issue with a prolonged closure in 2019, but it is now back and better than ever. Players can bet through both kiosks and teller windows. Easily the best component of Mardi Gras’ sports and race betting amenities is its “adopt a retired racer” program for getting retired greyhounds into loving homes.
|Wheeling Island West Virginia Sportsbooks|
While the name is a mouthful, this Wheeling Island Casino offers one of the better race betting experiences on the east coast. It also offers full service sports betting, both inside the casino and online via the BetLucky app.
|Sulphur Springs West Virginia Sportsbooks|
The Greenbrier is an old, monied casino that tailors to wealthy clientele. It is one of the only casinos in the country where you will find a strict dress code. The Greenbrier partnered with FanDuel in 2018, meaning that its sportsbook is now one of the best on the east coast.
|Ranson West Virginia Sportsbooks|
Hollywood is a brand known for consistent quality among active sports bettors, and the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town in no different. The coolest feature of the Charles Town Hollywood sportsbook is its implementation of individual viewing stations for fans who want to lock in on the action of whichever game they are betting on. A world-class thoroughbred racing track is also a welcome addition.
|New Cumberland West Virginia Sportsbooks|
The Mountaineer Casino partners with William Hill to run its sportsbook, meaning that it can compete with some of the best land-based sportsbooks in the entire world. Undoubtedly the coolest feature at Mountaineer is its state-of-the-art thoroughbred racing track, however.
West Virginia Sports Betting And Gambling Laws
Legal West Virginia sports betting was made possible thanks to SB 415. It was the most comprehensive bill introduced to the state Senate and was quickly passed by the House and allowed by Governor Jim Justice to become law without his signature (due to a conflict of interest, as he is the owner of The Greenbrier, one of the five physical wagering venues in the state). Thanks to this law, West Virginia residents can now enjoy sports betting in their state. Of course, this law came with some rules that must be followed.
One of the rules that sportsbooks have to abide by is that they must pay a service fee of $100,000 to the West Virginia Lottery every five years so they can keep their licenses. Another fee that they have to abide by is a 10 percent “privilege tax” on wagering receipts. This is a rather hefty tax to put on these casinos (though by no means the largest in the country), and only time will tell if their books will be able to survive under all these taxes. At the very least, legal West Virginia sports betting is possible thanks to the new state sports betting laws, and sports bets are being placed.
What Teams Can I Bet On?
The only unfortunate part about legal West Virginia sports betting is that there are no local professional teams for you to cheer for. The state does have the Marshall Thundering Herd and the West Virginia Mountaineers as Division I NCAA teams to root for and wager on, but the state is, unfortunately, lacking in big names to show their state pride. But that does not stop West Virginia players from enjoying sports and sports betting.
One of the biggest teams that the state supports are the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL. On the NBA front, West Virginia fans typically cheer for the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Washington Wizards. Of course, you can also hop online and visit offshore sports betting sites like Bovada, SportsBetting, BetOnline, or 5Dimes, where you can often get better lines on WV’s surrogate home teams than you’ll find locally. Just because West Virginia is lacking in sports teams of its own, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of teams to enjoy pulling for and wagering on.
Popular West Virginia Teams
|Marshall Thundering Herd – NCAA|
|West Virginia Mountaineers – NCAA|
Horse Racing Betting In West Virginia
Of the five casino venues in West Virginia, four of them are racetracks. Two have horse racing, while two are dedicated to greyhound racing. The Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races is known as one of the US’ busiest Thoroughbred racing venues with over 240 racing days each year. Similarly, the Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort is also one of the busiest Thoroughbred tracks in America, hosting over 220 racing days each year. The Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack and the Mardi Gras Casino and Resort both offer greyhound racing, and they’re among the last operational dog tracks in the country. All of these venues have pari-mutuel horse racing betting, and they each operate both on-site and online sportsbooks. Of course, if you wish to wager on horses and can’t make it to any of these facilities, you can always use your online sportsbook of choice to bet the ponies. (Online sportsbooks do not offer greyhound racebooks, so if you wish to wager on these kinds of races, you are limited to the physical dog tracks in WV.)
Daily Fantasy Sports In West Virginia
As you can imagine, daily fantasy sports (DFS) is legal in West Virginia. Although there are laws regulating sports betting within the state, there are no regulations in regards to DFS. More importantly, there are no restrictions on DFS. Thanks to this, leading DFS sites such as DraftKings and FanDuel are freely operating in West Virginia, and they are the top choices for local DFS enthusiasts.
Legal West Virginia Sports Betting FAQs
Can I Bet Real Money On Sports In West Virginia?
Thanks to the large number of options to make sports bets in West Virginia, you can absolutely bet real money on sports. Heading over to one of West Virginia’s five casinos is one way to spend money on sports betting. Another way to use real money is to go online and use either the domestic betting websites that are based in the state or one of our recommended offshore sites.
Is Online Sports Betting Safe In West Virginia?
Legal West Virginia sports betting is absolutely safe online. As previously mentioned, the state allows for casinos to create online apps and websites for West Virginia residents to enjoy sports betting online. Not only that, there are offshore sites that are available as well. These offshore sites are industry leaders when it comes to online sports betting. They have been accepting sports bets online for years and use the best encryption and security protocols. They have never had any data breach problems, so you can rest easy whenever you visit sites like Bovada, SportsBetting, BetOnline, and 5Dimes.
Will I Get Arrested For Sports Betting In West Virginia?
What Is the Sports Betting Age In West Virginia?
The legal gambling age in West Virginia is 21. Although there are online sportsbooks that allow 18-year-olds to start betting on sports, bettors should not take undue risks and go against what the state has set for the legal gambling age. You should never lie about your age when visiting online or land-based sportsbooks. If you do, you can lose any winnings you would have won, and you can be permanently banned from these sites. Just wait until you are 21, and then you can fully enjoy legal West Virginia sports betting.
Are There Mobile Sports Betting Apps Available In West Virginia?
Yes, there are official, domestic, state-based mobile sports betting apps available in West Virginia. BetLucky was one app that was created and developed in West Virginia, but technical and licensing issues caused it to cease operations. In its stead, big players like FanDuel and DraftKings have stepped in to fill the void (which is a very good thing for WV players). Their apps will allow you to make online bets on your phone on a number of sports, such as football, baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis, hockey, and more.
The above is not your only option for mobile sports betting in WV, however. Although there are no official apps for any of our recommended offshore websites (Bovada, SportsBetting, 5Dimes, etc.), you can access custom mobile portals for these services on your smart devices. Thanks to these options, mobile sports betting is convenient in West Virginia, no matter if you use a state-based or offshore solution.