As most residents of West Virginia will know, both online sports betting and retail sports betting are legal in the state. In fact, online and retail sportsbooks in West Virginia have been accepting bets since August 2018 – just two months after Delaware became the first state outside of Nevada to offer a sports betting facility.
To date, all of the five casinos in West Virginia offer sports betting – and there are also an additional six online sports betting sites to choose from.
The reason West Virginia was so quick off the mark is pretty clear. There was no state more vociferous in its support of the court case between New Jersey and the government regarding the Federal ban on sports betting. However, there have been a few ups and downs since the launch – including the disaster that was the closure of BetLucky (new reinvented as Betly).
Now, West Virginia has over three years of legal sports betting experience – and overall, the small Mountaineer State has had a pretty good run. Here we will take an in-depth look at how West Virginia sports betting works.
Top West Virginia Sports Betting Sites
There are currently 6 West Virginia online sportsbooks.
The 6 West Virginia Sports Betting Apps
Let’s take a look at the six sports betting apps available to West Virginia sports bettors…
1. DraftKings Sportsbook:
This is one of the top sports betting sites across the US – and this is no different in West Virginia. As well as Daily Fantasy sports betting, it also offers a complete sports betting app service in the state.
2. FanDuel Sportsbook:
Another of the biggest sports betting sites in the US – and Daily Fantasy Sports sites is FanDuel – DraftKings biggest competitor. Now, FanDuel is actually the top sports betting brand in the country in terms of the amount of money wagered.
3. BetMGM Sportsbook:
BetMGM – the sports betting app from MGM Resorts International is also operational in the state and has also attracted lots of attention – with lots of markets on a whole variety of sports available.
4. Caesars Sportsbook:
Caesars is one of the biggest gambling names in the US – and its sports betting app arrived in August 2021 after partnering with William Hill. It has an app that has everything you need – and years of experience behind it.
5. Betly Sportsbook:
Betly, formerly BetLucky, marked the return of online sports betting for Delaware North. This is the company that owns Wheeling Island and the Mardi Gras Casino Club. It had a disastrous showing as BetLucky but launched as Betly in September 2020.
6. PointsBet Sportsbook:
PointsBet launched the month before the start of the 2021 NFL season. It is partnered with Hollywood Casino at Charles Town. Although there is currently no plan for a retail sportsbook, the PointsBet sports betting app became the sixth available in West Virginia.
West Virginia Sports Betting Now
- 25th March 2022: West Virginia’s neighboring state, Kentucky, took a step towards sports betting as the state’s House passed a bill. That bill is now going to the Senate.
- 21st February 2022: Lawmakers in West Virginia introduced legislation to legalize esports betting.
- 11th February 2022: The sports betting handle in West Virginia fell 21% from January down to $74.5 million.
- 1st February 2022: Online casinos in West Virginia ended the year with an excellent overall performance. In combination, for December they all totalled around $7 million in revenue.
- 18th January 2022: In December, sportsbooks in West Virginia took around $74.5 million in wagers. This was a drop of around 10.3% from November.
- 7th January 2022: In November, online casinos in West Virginia had a fantastic month, taking more than $72 million in wagers – $2 million in revenue.
- 1 December 2021: West Virginia’s sports betting market boasted an excellent month in October. The state sportsbooks handled more than $61 million in total wagers. That was an improvement on September by $17 million.
West Virginia Sportsbooks
- DraftKings Sportsbook at the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town opened in August 2019 and offers retail sports betting.
- FanDuel Sportsbook at The Greenbrier (private) opened in August 2019 and does offer retail sports betting.
- BetMGM Sportsbook at The Greenbrier (private) opened in January 2020 but doesn’t offer retail sports betting.
- Betly Sportsbook at the Mardi Gras/Wheeling Island opened in August 2020 and offers retail sports betting
- Caesars Sportsbook at the Mountaineer Casino opened in August 2021 and offers retail sports betting.
- PointsBet Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town opened in August 2021 but does not offer retail sports betting.
Legal Retail Sports Betting Options in West Virginia
If you are looking for retail sportsbooks in West Virginia, then you have the following legal sports betting options:
Sportsbooks Available at West Virginia Casinos
Here are the five casinos offering retail sports betting currently
- Hollywood Casino was the first retail sportsbook to go live and is partnered with DraftKings.
- The Greenbrier private resort has a sportsbook operated by FanDuel.
- The Mountaineer Casino in Northumberland launched its retail sports betting operation in 2019 – but has no online presence.
- The Mardi Gras Casino and Wheeling Island launched a retail sportsbook in 2018 as well as its now disabled app via BetLucky. After being shut down for the majority of 2019, they finally opened up again in 2020.
The History of Sports Betting in West Virginia
Sports betting in West Virginia was legalized in March 2018 – although the law only became active after SCOTUS repealed PASPA in May that year. The industry regulators in West Virginia, the West Virginia Lottery Commission, quickly started working on draft rules for the suppliers and the casinos. These set forth goals to approve operations in time for the 2018-19 NFL season – which they met. Indeed, the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town took its first bet during its soft launch on 30th August with its full launch the following day – 1st September.
Online sports betting launched in December 2018 with BetLucky. However, BetLucky closed its operations in March 2019 – and never returned. This left West Virginia sports betting without any online sports betting options. This came about because the casino operator, Delaware North, parted ways with its sports betting provider Miomni, after they had an issue with a third-party vendor. This same issue also led to the temporary closure of Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island retail sportsbook.
Mobile sports betting didn’t return to the state until August 2019. In the meantime, the lottery commission used that break to work on improving processes and standards regarding online sports betting regulations. There was absolutely no intention to see a repeat of the BetLucky situation. However, it was FanDuel and DraftKings that were the next to open their doors – both of which proved to be more than capable of dealing with the increased standards applied to West Virginia sports betting.
These two DFS giants come sports betting apps were joined by BetMGM in January 2020. Nine months after this, the Mountain State online sports betting market was joined by Betly and William Hill (Caesars). By March 2021, these were the only 5 legal online sports betting sites available in the state.
The return on Betly meant the return to favor of Delaware North, which needed to make up some serious ground after its earlier BetLucky disaster – followed by the sports industry closures caused by the pandemic. Just before the new NFL season in August 2021, the William Hill sportsbook rebranded in the States to Caesars’ sportsbook.
West Virginia Sports betting timeline
2020: Online Sports Betting Suffers From the Pandemic
The sports betting industry in West Virginia began with a boost in January that year. MGM Resorts International’s online sportsbook, BetMGM, opened its doors in the state on 29th January. This launch seemed to coincide perfectly with the betting craziness associated with the upcoming Super Bowl and March Madness.
However, this was going to turn into a year like no other. The worldwide pandemic went mental – and this led to widespread closures and termination of businesses around the world. The Super Bowl did go ahead as scheduled on 2nd February. But March Madness was cancelled entirely. The Olympic Games in Tokyo that year was also postponed and casinos all over the world – including those in West Virginia and the rest of the year, were forced to temporarily close their doors.
With no sports, there was no sports betting. As such between March and June, the West Virginia sports betting industry closed down. The only real events available for betting were the more obscure sports such as Belarussian soccer and Korean baseball.
Thankfully, this came to an end and most of the major sports made a comeback – returning to action in July that year. As such, the sports betting handle in West Virginia made a big return. The start of the NFL season in August also saw the interest from other sports betting providers increase. As such, Betly and William Hill launched in the state, which brought the total number of online sports betting sites in West Virginia up to five.
2019: It Was the Best and Worst of Years
The year began well – with West Virginia revelling in its sports betting glory. Each of its casinos had sportsbooks and it was one of the only states that had legalized online sportsbooks. However, there was trouble a brewing…
On 7th March, the only sportsbook in the state, BetLucky, went offline unexpectedly – which left a lot of sports bettors in the state in limbo about their accounts and the future of betting in the state. Its parent company, Delaware North. made a statement that its closure was down to a dispute between the platform provider, Miomni and a third-party provider. This issue also affected its retail outlet at Mardis Gras Casino and Wheeling Island.
Although it was initially called a ‘temporary closure’, it soon became clear that BetlUcky was not coming back. There was a huge dispute between Miomni and an external vendor, Entergaming claiming that Miomni was using Entergaming’s intellectual property in a way that was allegedly in breach of their agreement.
However, Miomni counter-claimed that Entergaming had disabled its service inappropriately and was still demanding payment. The fate was sealed on 29th March when Delaware North announced it would no longer be using Miomni as its technology partner.
This saw the start of several months when sports betting was an unreliable source of income for the state and its casinos. There were even some moments in time when sports betting was even a money loser. Although online betting companies and state regulators were desperate to relaunch the online sports betting market in West Virginia, it went into decline – and there was a month on month decline in handle.
It got better when DraftKings and FanDuel came to the rescue. FanDuel opened its sportsbook in West Virginia on 26th August, with DraftKings following soon after on 28th August. This was just about in time for West Virginia sports bettors to capitalize on the start of the NFL season. This is always the busiest time for US sports betting.
2018: State Legalizes Sports Betting
Delegate Shawn Fluharty reintroduced his previous efforts to legalize sports betting. However, this time the bill was supported by a matching one – S 106 in the Senate. Both of these sports betting bills started out the year in their Judiciary Committees.
However, it was the third bill that ended up moving up. Sports bill S 45 was introduced at the behest of the West Virginia Lottery Commission as it was much more comprehensive than the other bills. This bill set the licensing and renewal fees at $100,000 and moved the tax rate to 10% of revenue – much more manageable.
The bill was passed by the Senate in February and quickly passed by the House – becoming the first state legislature to achieve this in 2018. The matching House Bill H 4396 had already made it through the committee hearing, which led the way to a passage in the lower chamber.
Governor Jim Justice allowed the bill to pass in March without his signature and the first legal bet was made in the state on 30th August at Hollywood Casino. By the end of the year, all of West Virginia’s casinos in West Virginia had active retail sportsbooks.
Online sports betting launched on 27th December after the launch of BetLucky. It officially became the third state (after Nevada and New Jersey) to offer mobile sports betting.
2017: First West Virginia Sports Betting Bills Proposed
In March 2017, Shawn Fluharty introduced sports betting bill H 2751.
This mill moved to include additional language to West Virginia’s constitution. This would regulate and legalize sports betting at West Virginia casinos. This was the state’s first ever bill on sports betting.
This bill would charge the West Virginia Lottery Commission with overseeing the sports betting industry. This would legalize wagers on professional sports and college sports, taxing the total handle at 2%.
This same bill also produced a so-called ‘legislative finding’. This would affirm that the Federal Government had absolutely no right to prohibit sports betting in the state. It stated that the decision to legalize sports betting in West Virginia should be in their own hands. It read…
“Sports pool betting… in the state is owned by the state and therefore the right to conduct sports pool betting may be licensed by the Lottery Commission…”
In addition, the state paid $160,000 to commission a study on how legal sports betting in the state might work.
West Virginia Standing with New Jersey
West Virginia had made no secret of its support of New Jersey in its attempt to make sports betting legal. The state Attorney General, Patrick Morrissey, filed briefs on both of the New Jersey sports betting cases, saying that it was a threat to state sovereignty and the key principles of federalism.
The West Virginia sports betting bills that were to follow included a challenge to PASPA and its federal overreach
It contained strong language that had not been present in most other sports betting bills in the US – and clearly identified its strong stance on legalizing sports betting in the state – and each state’s right to decide its own rules.
West Virginia Sports Betting FAQ
Is Sports Betting Legal in West Virginia?
Yes, West Virginia sports betting became legalized as soon as the Supreme Court overturned PASPA.
Who Regulates West Virginia Sports Betting?
The West Virginia sports betting industry is overseen and regulated by the West Virginia Lottery Commission.
Where Can I Bet on Sports in West Virginia?
Currently, you can bet online via several sports betting sites including DraftKings sportsbook, FanDuel sportsbook, BetMGM sportsbook and even more. Anyone over 21 years old can place a legal sports bet.
There are also five casinos in the state that offer retail sports betting.
The state’s law currently allows for retail sportsbooks at the five casinos in the state plus on mobile devices.
Who Can Get a West Virginia Sports Betting License?
In terms of retail sportsbooks, the five casinos and racinos are allowed to accept bets on sports games and events.
The state has four racetrack casinos:
- Hollywood Casino
- Mardi Gras Casino
- Mountaineer Casino
- Wheeling Island
As well as this, it also has the Casino Club at Greenbriers which is authorized to offer various forms of gambling – including sports wagering.
In addition, online sportsbooks can partner up with state casinos to offer mobile sports betting.
Who Can Wager on Sports in West Virginia?
You need to be aged 21 or over to gamble on sports in West Virginia.
Is Mobile Sports Betting Legal in West Virginia?
Yes, there are six online sportsbooks available in West Virginia.