West Virginia Sports Betting Laws
West Virginia legalized sports betting shortly after the federal ban dropped. The lawmakers approved Senate Bill 415 in 2018, which permitted wagering on both professional and collegiate sporting events. This bill amended all of the laws that prohibited wagering on sporting events within the state and gave the West Virginia Lottery full control over the new industry. The state only allows action to be taken at existing racetrack casinos as well as the Casino Club at The Greenbrier. In December of 2018, the state finished their regulations for mobile sports betting within the state; however, they only allow for players to wager if they are located within state lines. Further, the mobile rollout was spotty due to various backend provider issues, and DraftKings helmed the June 2019 relaunch of mobile betting in the state (in its partnership with the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races).
In WV, sportsbook operators are charged a 10% tax on all revenue that goes to the West Virginia Lottery Sports Wagering Fund. The five operators of the state are required to pay a licensing fee of $100,000, and they must post said license on their premises. There are no restrictions for betting on local college games like some states have adopted, nor are there any restrictions for using an overseas operator. Currently, all five WV sports betting lounges are up and running smoothly. If you want to participate in sports wagering licensed by the state, you will need to go to these physical locations. Of course, you can always go to an offshore online sportsbook if that is more convenient for you. These are still legal on top of the land-based sportsbooks that West Virginia has.
The Legality Of Sports Betting In West Virginia
In March of 2018, Governor Jim Justice approved the legislation that made sports betting legal, and the first wager was accepted at the Hollywood Casino on August 30th of that year. Since the enactment of the sports wagering law, West Virginia has built a powerful gambling industry both on location and online. In its first six weeks, the state-run sportsbooks notched just under $10 million in wagers accepted, and this number only grew once the mobile platform was established. When it comes to legal West Virginia sports betting sites, the state was certainly a pioneer in the industry.
There have been no talks of expanding the WV casino market’s sports betting footprint into more establishments, such as liquor stores or gas stations, as some states have proposed. West Virginia seems quite content with the way things have worked out and are headed in the future. Their quick action to bring sports betting into legality made other states work through their legislation even faster, taking notes from the Appalachian region.
West Virginia Sports Betting Locations
West Virginia sports betting locations can be found in several cities across the state, such as Ranson, Wheeling, and even Cross Lanes. Local venues also give the option for players to bet remotely, but they may find that the options are limited compared to what is at the actual sportsbooks at the aforementioned venues. When using legal betting sites, however, sports enthusiasts will find the same great values and a much larger variety of odds. Still, going down to a local WV sportsbook is still a great experience, and residents can stop by any of the casinos below (though it should be noted that The Greenbrier requires its sports bettors to be actual guests of the hotel, where rooms go for upwards of $500 a night):
For most bettors, the Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races is the place to be. The book always stays open till midnight or later, and its proximity to the Skybox Sports Bar means you’ll always have plenty of food and drink for your casino tailgating experience. With high-top tables, individual viewing stations, and plush lounge seating, you can relax in comfort while watching every big game on the venue’s multiple 80-inch HDTVs. And, of course, Charles Town Races has the best Thoroughbred racing in the region!
The Mardi Gras Casino & Resort has a small Sports & Race Book on the premises, with a ticket window located adjacent to the venue’s bar and seating area. It’s somewhat barebones, but it’s definitely comfortable for betting on and watching the best games of the day. The sportsbook operates out of the same space where the venue accepts its greyhound wagers, so you can enjoy the races while also catching your favorite players and teams.
The Mountaineer’s sportsbook is powered by one of the most reputable names in the business, William Hill. The William Hill Sports Book at the Mountaineer offers comfortable seating and a massive video wall with all the biggest and most popular games presented in a larger-than-life format. Have a few drinks, grab a bite, kick back, and soak it in (and, if you hit that big parlay, soak it up!) at the Mountaineer’s sports betting lounge. Of course, the Mountaineer also offers a busy, award-winning Thoroughbred racetrack and a full casino, so you probably won’t have too much time (or desire) to sit still.
Wheeling Island is home to the other of two WV greyhound racing tracks, and it’s one of the most esteemed remaining dog tracks in the US. Its sportsbook is a bar-based lounge akin to that at the Mardi Gras Casino, as both venues are owned by Delaware North and feature the same general amenities. At Wheeling Island, sports betting isn’t really the main focus, as a full casino and nightly slate of hound-bounding is always on tap.
For most people, the Hollywood Casino is the ticket for the best sports betting in the state. However, for a truly exclusive, luxurious experience, the FanDuel sportsbook at The Greenbrier Casino Club is where you want to be. It’s a low-volume, intimate venue, and access to the book is available only to members and guests of the massive resort property. Given that lodging starts at upwards of $500 a night, it’s safe to say that the FanDuel sportsbook at The Greenbrier is for only the highest of high rollers. The venue also features simulcast dog and horse racing, since the only earthly amenity The Greenbrier doesn’t seem to have in spades is a racetrack of its own.
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Legal Age To Bet On Sports In West Virginia
Whether you were looking to gamble with an offshore sportsbook, at one of the facilities providing wagering options in West Virginia, or through a WV online mobile platform, you must be 21 years or older to participate. The best offshore operators will accept players as young as 18; however, we recommend waiting until you are of the legal West Virginia gambling age, just so no unwanted problems can occur. Always defer to your state’s written laws concerning sports betting age, and never under any circumstances join an offshore book underage, as you could forfeit your deposits and winnings if you violate your site’s terms of service.
Funding Land-Based Vs. Offshore West Virginia Sportsbooks
One of the first things that new sports bettors want to get sorted out is, naturally, how to fund their accounts. The days of books extending credit to bettors is long gone, so the general practice now is to deposit money into your account and then bet with that money. Land-based books in WV make this simple: just go to your brick-and-mortar betting lounge of choice, approach the ticket window, and pay for the bets you wish to place. You can also fill up an account at the book, so you can access the funds quickly to place live wagers when the time is right. Typically, such books take cash, credit, debit, and some even accept checks or services like PayNearMe.
At online, offshore books, the process is similar to making any e-commerce purchase. You can use credit, debit, international gift cards, money orders, bank wires, Western Union, MoneyGram, and even cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and more. When you deposit into an offshore account, the main consideration is always going to be speed. Most methods have acceptable limits for most bettors, but high rollers who want to deposit tens of thousands of dollars will usually use a bank wire, which can take up to a week or more to process. Credit cards are usually processed instantly, and Bitcoin (and other altcoins) have quick transfer times and high limits.
Shopping Lines At Multiple West Virginia Sportsbooks
Shopping lines is something you hear all the time when it comes to sports betting strategies. In fact, it’s the best possible edge any level of player can get. All other strategies aside, if you aren’t shopping lines, you are leaving money on the table. To shop lines between WV sportsbooks, you’ll need to have several offshore betting sites in your stable. You can only join each site once, but there is no limit to how many different sites you can sign up for. Then, you simply pick a given wager you’d like to make and compare the payouts between books. Pick the book offering the best payout, and that’s all there is to it!
For example, West Virginia bettors strongly tend to favor the Pittsburgh Steelers. That means that the majority of WV bettors will put money on Pittsburgh whether they’re the favorites or the underdogs. This, in turn, causes local WV books to raise their Steelers prices in order to compensate for their increased liability. At The Greenbrier, you might see a given Steelers spread or prop at -145 odds. Yet that very same bet at an offshore book like Bovada might carry odds of -110. In practice, this means that the local bet costs you about 3.5 times as much as the wager would at an offshore book. Each venue and online book will have slightly (and sometimes vastly) different odds on every single wager offered. Shopping lines is the best way to guarantee the fattest possible bankroll, every time.
West Virginia Sports Betting FAQ's
Has Anyone Been Arrested For Sports Betting In West Virginia?
We have not found any direct result of a player being arrested for using legal West Virginia sports betting sites — even before the regulated options launched. Though there are licensed operators in-state, this does not limit your ability to use a sportsbook that is located offshore. The only trouble you could find yourself in is if you attempt to play the odds underage, and this constitutes a financial problem, not a legal one.
What Should I Do If My Bank Didn't Process My Credit Or Debit Card Deposit?
This happens more than you may think, and it’s a direct result of a federal law known as the UIGEA, or Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. This is a banking regulation, and it will very occasionally prevent your bank from processing your transaction; however, West Virginia players can easily get by this situation. Visit a Kroger and get a prepaid gift card or put to use your crypto wallet (Bitcoin, Litecoin, etc.) or simply use another credit or debit card if yours gets declined. Offshore books have turned compliance with the UIGEA into an art form!
Do West Virginia Sports Betting Sites Have Odds On Football?
Both the in-state and overseas sportsbooks available to WV residents allow you to gamble on West Virginia football, whether you support Marshall University or WVU. Be advised that the odds may be drastically different between local and offshore books, as local operators will generally have more expensive odds than their offshore counterparts to account for lopsided action on the home teams in question. Additionally, of course, you’ll get all the other NCAA and NFL football odds you can handle, though offshore books again have the edge when it comes to the number of individual bets and alternate lines available for each matchup.
Can I Bet From My Mobile Phone In West Virginia?
Mobile betting in West Virginia has very few restrictions. Not only can you utilize a state-run platform but you can also use an offshore sports book. To use the in-state mobile sportsbook, you must be located within state lines; however, using a safe and trusted offshore bookmaker will not allow you to wager wherever you are inside WV or the rest of the country. Domestic books are geofenced due to the Wire Act (1962), and this is a federal law that simply does not apply to offshore, overseas sports betting sites.
Do Legal West Virginia Online Sportsbooks Have Live Betting?
All reputable sportsbooks have live in-play betting. West Virginia players have the ability to put their money where their mouth is and bet in support of their home team even if they are losing (which is, of course, exactly when you’ll find the biggest payouts with live betting). Better yet, think of it as betting against your rival. During March Madness, for example, you might find player props on your favorite Mountaineer that change with the action in the game. Hit the betting lines at the perfect time, and you could win bigger than ever!
Can I Have More Than One Online Sportsbook Account In West Virginia?
You can definitely have more than one online sportsbook account in West Virginia. Of course, that really only applies to offshore books, as the state only has one online operator at the moment (DraftKings/Hollywood Casino). Signing up at multiple offshore books is as easy as receiving a free student ticket to a Mountaineer football game. Like the student tickets, the online sportsbooks offer reward programs for players who meet certain requirements. Each online sportsbook has different benefits, so be sure to check out the promotions page of every different book you’re looking at joining. You can also visit a local WV sportsbook to see if there are any food, drink, and betting promos available to on-site bettors. And as always, having accounts at multiple different books will allow you to boost your bottom line to the max by letting you shop lines on every bet you wish to place.
Betting On Horse Racing In West Virginia
Horse racing is very much legal in the state of West Virginia. Pari-mutuel wagering, as horse racing betting is more commonly called, includes Thoroughbred and harness racing as legal types of races in the state. The entire set of rules and bylaws can be found in the West Virginia Code Chapter 19, Article 23.
Perhaps the most famous track in West Virginia is the Charles Town Races, home to the $1,250,000 Charles Town Classic, the annual Race for the Ribbon, and the West Virginia Breeders Classic. This venue even offers simulcast horse and dog racing every day from events all around the country. Furthermore, they offer sports betting, slots, table games, and even an 18-table poker room. The hours of operation for all of the local horse race tracks be found on the West Virginia Racing Commission’s website.
The Status Of Daily Fantasy Sports In West Virginia
Even though legislation to regulate the DFS industry in West Virginia did not pass in 2016, the state still allows for operators to provide paid and unpaid contests to WV residents. The 2016 Senate Bill 529 would have regulated the industry. The state senators at the time voted in favor of the measure; however, legislators on the House side could not agree upon terms, and the bill died in committee.
Don’t take this as a way to say there is no way to play DFS in West Virginia, as most big operators like DraftKings and FanDuel accept WV players. You can discover contests that range from head-to-head matchups all the way to tournaments of tens of thousands of players. Whether you are using DFS for football, baseball, e-sports, or any sport in between, you can do it – legally and safely – with any operator in the state. Since the failed legislation in 2016, the WV has not seen any new bills put forward to regulate the DFS industry. Nevertheless, they seem content to let the industry play out as it will.