West Virginia is officially a part of the regulated sports betting industry. Lawmakers approved the activity in March 2018, regulators published rules following the US Supreme Court ruling that May, and the first sportsbook opened in August 2018.
A year later, following the launch and fallout of the state’s lone online sportsbook, West Virginia online sports betting was resurrected. FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook introduced mobile wagering products, making West Virginia the fifth state with online sportsbooks.
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races booked the inaugural wagers on Aug. 30, 2018, signalling the launch of WV sports betting just in time for betting on the upcoming football season. A few weeks later on Sept. 13, 2018, the FanDuel Sportsbook opened inside The Greenbrier. This private resort features a gaming area called The Casino Club.
The framework for WV sports betting included provisions for online and mobile sports betting. The WV Lottery, which regulates the industry, has worked hard to facilitate launch in tandem with retail operations.
Operators were not ready with online & mobile apps from day one, but the first wasn’t far behind. BetLucky Sportsbook launched in late 2018. However, due to a dispute with some of its technology providers, the app is now closed and is unlikely to reopen.
Fortunately, after several months, West Virginia got back in the mobile wagering game as FanDuel Sportsbook rolled out its betting app in August 2019. As a result, West Virginia became the third state (along with New Jersey and Pennsylvania) in which FanDuel operates.
Not long after, DraftKings Sportsbook hit the market. And in January 2020, a third betting app emerged: BetMGM.
Three West Virginia casinos have debuted retail sportsbooks.
|The Greenbrier||Approved||FanDuel Sportsbook|
|Hollywood||Approved||William Hill US|
|Mountaineer||Approved||William Hill US|
Two other properties, Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras, opened retail sportsbooks in 2018. Contract disputes, however, led to both operations being suspended as they seek new sports betting partners.
Sports betting regulations are still in the public comment period and therefore subject to change. Here’s what the working documents include right now:
Regulators used a light touch when drafting the framework for mobile/online sports betting.
Each casino licensee can offer up to three individually branded online platforms (or “skins“). Each skin partner must display the logo of the license-bearing casino within its platform(s).
Operators may not book action on high school sporting events. Esports betting is fair game, but only if all participants are at least 18 years old.
Regulations do not impose any prohibitions on college sports betting, including on teams and events within the state.
Yes, sports betting became legal in March 2018. The bill became law despite Gov. Jim Justice refusing to sign his name.
Only people 21 and older can bet on sports in West Virginia.
The state’s five gambling facilities all have sportsbooks. However, only three of them are currently in operation. Sports betting is available at the following locations:
Yes. While BetLucky Sportsbook was the only option for mobile sports betting before ceasing operations in early 2019, FanDuel Sportsbook revived West Virginia online betting in late August. Not to be outdone, DraftKings entered the market soon after, and BetMGM went online in January 2020. The law authorizes online/mobile sports betting, and regulations are in place to cover implementation.
Like most states, West Virginia law prohibits gambling with some exceptions.
Apart from the state lottery, the five licensed gambling facilities have the broadest exemptions. They’re permitted to offer all traditional casino games, though the implementation is restricted to land-based operations only.
The state does have an online gambling industry, however. Mobile horse betting platforms, such as TVG, have served the state for years. Some pari-mutuel facilities also offer limited video lottery games on site.
Online sports betting is the second approved form of internet gambling in WV. Lawmakers have previously considered broader legalization, too, including online casino and online poker.