West Virginia online sports betting laws
West Virginians are reaping the benefits of their state’s leading role in the push for the legalization of sports betting. It’s now possible to access both retail and online sportsbooks in the Mountain State and the rising betting handle suggests people are loving the opportunity.
Administrative law and government relations attorney
Jennifer has a degree in Journalism from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C, in 2005. She's been living in Las Vegas helping clients in the casino and gaming industry, as well as other regulated businesses, across Nevada for over 15 years.
She has authored and co-authored numerous articles and books on US gaming law, including most recently, The Law of Regulated Gambling: A Practical Guide for Business Lawyers, American Bar Association (2020), and That (Expletive) Broad: Women Who Broke Barriers in the Casino and Gaming Industry (2020).
Is sports betting legal in West Virginia?
Yes, West Virginia sports betting has been legal since 2018, when The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was deemed unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court.
Is online sports betting legal in West Virginia?
Yes, West Virginia online sports betting is legal and is offered by some of the best sportsbooks in the business.
How old do I have to be to place a bet in West Virginia?
You need to be at least 21 years old to be able to enjoy West Virginia sports betting.
Choose which licensed West Virginia sportsbook you want to use.
You may wager on sports at a casino location, or register for an account online. You don’t have to visit a casino to sign up.
Be prepared to supply ID to prove your identity, age, and address.
Top up your account balance using your favored banking method.
Take advantage of any sign-up offers and start betting.
As opposition to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) grew during the last decade, West Virginia led the charge along with New Jersey. A bill to authorize sports betting at casinos in West Virginia was tabled in 2017. Further legislative efforts were launched the following year. The state legislature passed one of those bills, S415, which became law in the state in March 2018. Two months later, the Supreme Court ruled that PASPA was unconstitutional.
Each state was thus free to introduce sports betting if it wished and West Virginia certainly did. Hollywood Casino struck the first bet in August 2018, and by the end of the year all five casinos in the state had active sportsbooks.
Just before the end of the year, West Virginia online betting went live as it became the third state, after Nevada and New Jersey to empower people to bet through websites and mobile devices. By January 2021, the total monthly handle for West Virginia was approximately $51 million. The state calculates that the overwhelming majority of bets were placed online.
Five online sportsbooks are now operational for West Virginia online betting fans. They are offered by some of the biggest and best names in the global betting industry, including DraftKings, William Hill, FanDuel, and BetMGM. You don’t have to attend a casino in person to open an account. The registration process can be completed remotely, although it’s essential you don’t disable any geolocation tools on your desktop or mobile device. Your chosen sportsbook will use that same technology to check your location regularly while you are using its facilities.
You have to be within state lines when placing a bet. Though you don’t have to be a West Virginia resident; people from neighboring states where online betting is not allowed may cross the border and join in.
The number of sports wagering licenses issued by the West Virginia Lottery Commission is capped at five, to match the total number of casinos in the state. However, each casino can partner with multiple online partners, so it is feasible that West Virginia online sports betting customers will have even more sportsbooks to choose from in the near future.
Running a sportsbook in West Virginia is extremely attractive. The state tax on retail and online betting gross gaming revenue is only 10 percent, one of the lowest rates around. It certainly compares favorably with neighboring Pennsylvania, where the equivalent tax runs at 36 percent.
Yes, they certainly are. Betting winnings are viewed by the IRS as taxable income, and it is your duty to declare it. It is highly advisable to keep a close record of all your betting winnings. Even if your sportsbook does not issue you with a form W-2G showing your winnings, a copy will be sent to the IRS.
Even though West Virginia has taken an exceptionally open approach to the legalization of sports betting, the law is still firm on this. You must be aged 21 or more to bet on sports in the state.
West Virginia has made it easy to sign up as a sportsbook customer in the state. You don’t have to attend a casino in person to register for an account. However, you are allowed to partake in West Virginia online betting only if you are physically located within state lines. Geolocation technology used by modern sportsbooks will check regularly that you are complying with this rule while you use the sportsbook. Please bear this in mind when you access West Virginia betting sites or apps - don’t disable any location technology you have on your device.
West Virginia’s two sportsbooks prohibit employees of a casino from placing a sports bet at that casino – or on any online platform run by it.
West Virginia has been exceptionally liberal when it comes to sports betting. There are no restrictions on wagering on college sports and esports, such as you see in many other states. But betting on politics is a no-no. West Virginia’s Lottery famously fell foul of a 19th-century state law banning betting on politics when it briefly offered odds on the 2020 US presidential election. The wagers were posted for about 15 minutes before the West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner, shut things down, citing the state law.
West Virginia’s progressive attitude towards sports betting is mirrored by its treatment of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). The state’s attorney general issued an opinion in 2016 that effectively opened the door to DFS in West Virginia. The opinion, which was requested in relation to state fantasy sports legislation, Senate Bill 529, found that fantasy sports contests were “not decided predominantly by chance”, and therefore were not illegal gambling under West Virginia state law.
The opinion, however, left the door open to the fact that some fantasy contests might be found to be illegal gambling. Nevertheless, since the issuance of this opinion DFS fans in the Mountain State have been allowed to continue enjoying their daily fantasy fun.
The fact that there are no top-level sports teams in the state doesn’t stop sports enthusiasts here getting involved in fantasy games around basketball, football, hockey, and baseball. With two Division I NCAA programs in West Virginia, college DFS games also attract plenty of interest in the state.
There are no NFL teams in West Virginia, but the Pittsburgh Steelers are not far away, and they pick up plenty of support here. So do the Marshall Thundering Herd, who have two NCAA national football championships in the trophy cabinet. Football will always be a big driver of betting activity here.
West Virginia’s willingness to embrace the potential of sports betting has been matched by a recognition that responsible gambling should be at the core of this growing industry. Although sports betting represents fun for most people, it is key that operators acknowledge that for some, it can lead to addiction, and that they should put measures in place to combat that.
Several organizations in West Virginia offer constructive help and support for the sports gambling community:
William Hill, one of the leading sportsbook operators in the world, takes its responsibilities seriously and guides people towards agencies that can help anyone in trouble.
One of these is First Choice Services, which offers access to programs that help people with addiction issues.
The West Virginia Gaming & Racing Association promotes responsible gambling and offers constructive advice to people with concerns.
The National Council on Problem Gambling provides a fact sheet and self-help resources, as well as local and national helplines.
The Problem Gambling Help Network of WV has a wealth of prevention, treatment, and training advice.
State legislators introduce a bill authorizing the state lottery to start drawing up rules for sports betting in the event that PASPA is overturned.
2018 - March
The state passes the West Virginia Lottery Sports Wagering Act, creating a framework for sports betting.
2018 - May
PASPA is struck down by the US Supreme Court.
2018 - August
The first sport bets are placed in West Virginia at Hollywood Casino.
2018 - December
West Virginia online sports betting begins with BetLucky.
BetLucky ceases operations – operators including FanDuel and DraftKings step in to fill the online sports betting gap.
There are currently five physical locations where you can enjoy West Virginia sports betting, and each West Virginia casino has at least one online sports betting partner.
|Casino/Retail Sportsbook||Retail Sportsbook Partner||Address||Online Sportsbook Partner|
|Hollywood Casino||William Hill||750 Hollywood Drive, Charles Town WV 25414||DraftKings|
|The Greenbrier Resort||FanDuel||101 Main Street West, White Sulphur Springs WV 24986||FanDuel, BetMGM|
|Mardi Gras Casino & Resort||The Betly Sportsbook at Mardi Gras Casino & Resort||1 Greyhound Drive, Cross Lanes WV 25313||Betly|
|Wheeling Island Hotel - Casino - Racetrack||The Betly Sportsbook at Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack||1 South Stone Street, Wheeling WV 26003||Betly|
|The Mountaineer Casino||William Hill||1420 Mountaineer Circle, New Cumberland WV 26047||William Hill|
Yes, you can. West Virginia was one of the states to pioneer sports betting after the repeal of PASPA. Despite some early hiccups, it now has a thriving online and retail betting scene, making it easy for sports fans to enjoy sports betting in West Virginia.
Absolutely. West Virginia was one of the first states to launch online sports betting. There are now several West Virginia betting sites and apps in the state for people who enjoy wagering on sport. You have to be 21 and located within the state to be able to place a bet.
Yes, it is. DraftKings is licensed to operate an online sportsbook in the state through its association with the Hollywood Casino. It is also one of the biggest names in Daily Fantasy Sports and has many customers in the Mountain State.
Yes, it does. FanDuel is one of the leading providers of Daily Fantasy Sports in West Virginia and elsewhere in the US. It has expanded in recent years to offer sportsbook services and is licensed to operate a West Virginia online sports betting service through its affiliation to the Greenbrier Resort.