West Virginia became the fifth US state to offer legal sports betting, with the first bets being placed in person in late August 2018, and bettors now have the choice of a couple of online apps in FanDuel and DraftKings.

Sports betting in West Virginia – how did we get here?

Sports betting in the Mountaineer State was legalized in March 2018 and the law became active in May of that year following the Supreme Court’s repeal of PASPA, a federal law that had limited sports betting to Nevada since 1993.

The first legal sports bets were placed at the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town during its soft launch on August 30th, 2018, with a full launch coming just two days later. This was the result of a partnership between the casino owner, Penn Gaming National, and DraftKings.

Another retail property, The Casino Club at Greenbrier Resort, opened its sportsbook soon after in partnership with FanDuel, albeit to private guests only. And a third, the Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort, joined the fray in November 2018 with William Hill as its strategic partner.

Two other state authorized casinos launched their sportsbooks in December 2018, which included a mobile app via BetLucky.com. However, the company behind it was forced to close in March of this year due to legal reasons, and the retail sportsbooks also ceased taking bets at the time.

Six months down the line, things are looking far rosier for those West Virginians looking to place a sports bet by legal means, with a couple of online sportsbooks now filling the void left by BetLucky – and more are on the way.

Casino-Operator Partnerships in WV

Under regulations set by the West Virginia Lottery Commission, which oversees all gambling in the state, each licensed property is authorized to partner with up to three sports betting skins (operators).

  • Hollywood Casino Charles Town – partnered with DraftKings and PointsBet.
  • The Casino Club at Greenbrier Resort – partnered with FanDuel.
  • Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort – partnered with William Hill.

Welcome to the future, West Virginia – so tweeted FanDuel after launching their sports betting app on the Monday before the first slate of college football. Rival DFS operator Draftkings were quick to follow just a couple of days later, having been the first to launch in New Jersey a year earlier.

The pair of fantasy heavyweights are already dominating the sports betting market in the Garden State, where 85 per cent of bets are produced online. Given their head start over any potential rivals and existing large user bases, it could be a similar story in West Virginia.

So that’s the challenge for William Hill, who opened a retail sportsbook at Mountaineer Park last November and are close to launching an app.

Pointsbet are also looking to get in on the act, having recently announced plans to launch both retail and online operations in the state, and the door is open for more.

Who can place bets in West Virginia?

Anyone aged 21 or older (ID required) and physically located inside the state, so non-residents are free to travel across state lines to place a bet.

The sportsbook operators use geo-locating software (a combination of WiFi and IP address data) to determine your exact location and this is already built into mobile devices.

Here’s how to turn this on.

iOS: Settings –> Privacy –> Location Services. Find the betting app by name (either DraftKings or FanDuel) and Allow Location Access

Android: Settings –> Apps and Notifications. Find the betting app by name (either DraftKings or FanDuel). Tap on Permissions and toggle on Location

Unlike in some other states where sports betting is legal, bettors are not obliged to first set foot inside a land-based property in order to register with an online sportsbook. That’s because mobile betting is allowed statewide – which is the big draw for operators.

Online sportsbooks having an instant effect

It’s no real surprise that bettors have been quick to download both sports betting apps that are currently available, having been deprived of online opportunities since the demise of BetLucky in March.

The re-launch of mobile came at just the right time too with the new football season about to get underway, and that’s combined to energize sports betting handle/revenue figures in the state.

For the week ending Aug. 31, the West Virginia Lottery announced that total handle had reached almost $4.5 million, which was a jump of nearly $2.5 million from the previous week.

The revenue figures were just as positive with $649,000 coming from retail and $25,000 from just a couple of days of online sports betting – $67,000 of revenue went into state coffers, an increase of $19,000 on the previous week.

Since then the figures have continued to skyrocket and the first full week of NFL/WVU football was a record one, with saw sports handle topping $6 million and revenue going over $1.6 million for the first time.

What can you bet on in WV?

Just about any sport you can think of at both pro and top collegiate levels, and the kind of bets available to bettors range from single-game wagers to multi-team parlays. Expect to find at least the following:

  • Moneyline
  • Totals (over-unders)
  • Spreads
  • Parlays
  • Teasers
  • Round Robins
  • Props
  • Futures
  • Live in-play

Is online casino and poker legal too?

No, only online sports betting was legalized. Until a change in the law, you’ll have to trek to one of the licensed casinos/racinos to play at the tables. Check back for more news on the state of play regarding casino and poker in WV as we will be updating our guide as soon as more information is available.

What’s the future for sports betting in WV?

It’s clear that sports betting is booming in the Mountain State and the latest numbers are even more impressive when you consider there are just two online sportsbooks operating currently.

Expect that to double soon and with the state having set the tax rate on gross sports betting revenue at just 10%, a very workable rate for operators, it would be a surprise if more didn’t follow in the not so distant future.

The more the merrier, we say, as bettors will have more choice over where to place their bets and the increased competition between operators is never a bad thing either as competitive lines are just one way they will fight for your hard-earned cash.

Hopefully, that’s covered any questions you might have relating to online/mobile sports betting in West Virginia – but feel free to hit us up with anything you like on Twitter or get in touch.