Is Online Sports Betting Legal in West Virginia?
Sports betting in West Virginia and the laws surrounging it have been a hot topic in the Mountain State recently.
That’s because just months after the landmark US Supreme Court decision (more on that later) sports betting is now legal in West Virginia.
In a five month stretch in 2018 from March to August, WV managed to become the fifth state in America to join the regulated sports betting industry, pass and sign official legislation to legalize sports gambling, and, as if that wasn’t enough, successfully open its first fully sanctioned sportsbook.
The state took its first ever legal sports bets on August 30, 2018 and appear to be pursuing aggressive expansion of what will undoubtedly become one of the state’s biggest money-makers.
If you live in West Virginia, or you’re just curious about sports betting laws in West Virginia, you’ve come to the right place.
On this page you’ll find everything you need to know about sports gambling in the Mountain State. We’ll dig into the state’s sports betting history, the current situation and early days of regulation plus what we expect to happen in the future.
We’ll also be updating this page with significant developments as they happen so make sure to check back for the very latest.
For more information on other states, read our state by state guide to sports betting laws in the United States.
The Current Online Sports Betting Situation in West Virginia
Before 2018 there wasn’t a state in the USA not named Nevada that allowed legal sports gambling. That all changed on May 14th, 2018 when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of New Jersey’s appeal to have the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) repealed.
PASPA, which was first initiated in 1992, was put in place as a federal law to ban sports gambling across America with only Nevada given an exemption.
New Jersey’s successful appeal against PASPA now meant every state had the autonomy to choose whether they want to allow sports gambling and how they want to do it. Several states soon followed New Jersey’s lead to legalize gambling, one of which was West Virginia.
Since sports gambling became legal in West Virginia , locals have been able to place bets at brick and mortar casinos but are still waiting for the first website sportsbooks to go live.
Part of the new law stipulates that states who wish to operate online sportsbooks must do so via one of their land-based casinos. At the moment, West Virginia government is working diligently to implement all the necessary components to fully set the wheels in motion and bring locals a fully operational online sports gambling option as soon as possible.
When they are up and running, licensed online sportsbooks will be legally accessible to all West Virginians over the age of 21.
Currently there are five land based casinos in the state of West Virginia and already four of them have approval to offer sanctioned sports betting. Two of those four are already taking bets. The closest thing to online betting is the ability for for punters to place bets on their mobile devices while physically on casino premises.
The History of Online Sports Betting in West Virginia
Before this year’s big tidal wave of change and before the 1992 PASPA law was put into place, America had been operating under a different national law, implemented in 1961, called the Federal Wire Act.
This nation-wide law was an attempt to prevent (or at least limit) organized crime across all states. What it ended up doing was driving illegal betting further underground and setting the stage for the multi-billion dollar offshore gambling and sportsbook industry.
In 1992 PASPA made it expressly illegal for all states, excluding Nevada, to offer legal sports betting. That period continued in WV until 2018 and the landmark SCOTUS decision.
Thanks to New Jersey successfully appealing PASPA, America is finally taking steps in the right direction and allowing each state to govern its own sports gambling markets.
In West Virginia, the path to a fully constructed online sports gambling infrastructure is being paved as we speak. Land based sportsbooks were the first priority and things are already up and running on that front. While they weren’t as fully prepared on the online side of things, they are now ready to follow the lead the casinos have set.
The West Virginia lottery is in charge of regulating sports betting in the state and they are motivated to have online and mobile gambling ready as soon as all the logistics and red tape are sorted out. Partnerships with fantasy sports giant Fanduel have already been forged and will play a part in the forthcoming online sports gambling movement in West Virginia.
Since casino gambling has been available in the state since its five casinos were opened in 1994, WV has a relatively strong gambling culture already. Horse and dog racing are both available, as are a wide variety of slots and table games.
Combine that with a very passionate sports culture and you’ve got the makings of a thriving sports betting industry.
Which Online Sports Betting Sites Are Legal in West Virginia?
Currently there aren’t any online sports betting websites in West Virginia but the wheels are in motion to make it happen as we speak. The casinos already offering legal sports bets plan to open online sports betting sites in the state as soon as November of 2018.
The Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, which is home to one of the state’s land based sportsbooks that already offers sports betting, is likely to be the first to market with online sports betting options. They’ve already announced their plans and look to have a head start developing their online platform.
A mobile betting app is also on the horizon and it will be run by William Hill US, who oversees the Hollywood Casinos online operations. Progress on this front shouldn’t take too long as the company already has a similar app up and running in New Jersey.
What Sports Can You Bet on Online in West Virginia?
Once online sportsbooks are fully functioning in the state, punters will be able to find action available on all the major North American sports including pro leagues like the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL, collegiate NCAA leagues plus less popular sports like soccer, NASCAR, golf, tennis, MMA and much more.
Interestingly, West Virginia is far and away the most populous state in the US that does not have a pro sports team in any major league. That said, just like most US states, WV’s population is big into sports.
The good news for West Virginians is that they won’t have to wait long to find out which sports they will be able to bet on online.
In the meantime, if you want to do some research on the matter, check what the local land based casino sportsbooks are offering. Most likely everything will be the same online, if not even broader.
For more information on how to bet on all the most popular sports, check out our comprehensive sports betting guides available for free right here on WSN.com.
To find out more about the process of betting online in the state, read our how-to-bet guide for WV.
Is Betting on fantasy sports legal in West Virginia?
Yes, in fact FanDuel, one of the major fantasy sports brands, is the proud sponsor of one of the only two current sportsbooks in the state. Theirs is located in The Greenbrier Casino property located in White Sulphur Springs just east of Lewisburg.
DraftKings, the other DFS giant, is also open to players in West Virginia and has also applied for a permit to open a land-based sportsbook and offer sports betting in the state.
From what we’ve observed in other states, having an established internet sports gambling brand like FanDuel and DraftKings will help make the introduction of online sports gambling in the area even smoother.
Is There No Deposit Sports Betting in West Virginia?
We haven’t seen any no-deposit bonuses yet because there are no online sports betting options up and running. That’s going to change soon, however.
As soon as West Virginia introduces full fledged online sports gambling, we are certain some sportsbooks will offer no-deposit style bonuses. When the day does arrive let us be the first to tell you that no deposit betting is a great way to find value when you first begin making wagers on a site.
Pro tip: It’s really important to fully understand the terms and conditions of any bonus offer up for grabs. Things to learn and research include playthrough requirements, minimum and maximum withdrawal amounts, and region restrictions.
Obviously the goal of a free bet is to take advantage of the opportunity and make a smart wager that wins and pays well. Usually with this kind of bonus, however, you won’t be able to withdraw your winnings right away. There are often playthrough requirements you must satisfy and most of the time, the initial free betting stake cannot be withdrawn, just your profit.
What Is the Future of Online Sports Betting in West Virginia?
In West Virginia the future of sports betting is very bright. The state moved quickly to offer legal sports betting and by all accounts they have big plans for continuing to develop it.
So far there are only two live sportsbooks that offer bets but that will soon grow to five. All of those locations can be expected to develop and release online sports betting platforms with the first expected to hit the web soon.
From there you can expect further improvements in the gambling infrastructure, both live and online, plus enhanced options for where and how West Virginians are able to place bets on their favorite sports.
Make sure to bookmark this page as we’ll be updating it with any significant developments as they happen.
Start Betting Sports in West Virginia Now
If you’re in West Virginia and interested in betting on sports, nothing is standing in your way except perhaps a lengthy drive to the casino. As just the fifth state to take advantage of the United State’s newly progressive attitude towards sports gambling, you’re among the lucky few who can already make fully legal sports wagers.
As we mentioned before, there aren’t any online betting options available yet but that’s going to change soon.
Check back on this page for a list of recommended online sports betting sites in West Virginia as they open up. We’ll have comprehensive reviews of all your options along with the guaranteed best bonuses available anywhere.