While West Virginia is a relatively small state by population, its physical location near some major states means that a lot of things rub off on the state. This is especially true when we talk about gambling laws, and as you will find out by reading this page, West Virginia is at the forefront of the next wave on gambling legislation in the country. Here is an overview of all the gambling laws in the state.
Sports Betting in West Virginia
Sports betting in the United States is headed into unchartered waters from a regulatory perspective. Before 2018, no states aside from Nevada were able to offer sports betting as part of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. In may 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court repealed that law, leaving it up to states to decide if they were going to regulate the industry. Several states stepped up with legislation in 2018, including West Virginia, which became the 5th state to accept legal sports bets when the first bet was placed at the end of August.
Online Sports Betting
Online sports betting is part of the current legislation, but only through the sports betting apps offered by land based operators. All operators will get into the fray but they have been slower launching the mobile sports betting than they have to open the sports betting desks in the casinos.
These online sportsbooks offer players the best odds along with some excellent promotions. There is a lot of competition in West Virginia with some of the bigger names in the industry fighting for a piece of the action. You can expect these West Virginia licensed sportsbooks to be very aggressive with their marketing in the coming year.
Horse Betting in West Virginia
Horse racing is alive and well in West Virginia, with four racetracks offering live racing across the state. Racing and pari-mutuel betting go hand-in-hand, and there is betting available at each of these tracks, not just on the races being held at the track but also on simulcast races from tracks all around North America. This gives gamblers dozens of horse races to bet on daily, which keeps people interested from day until late in the evening in the state.
Online Horse Betting
While the four racetracks offer pari-mutuel betting at their facilities, they do not have the option of offering online versions of their product in the current licensing format. However, there is a loophole that allows companies like Twinspires and Xpressbet to operate in the state. These companies are licensed by Oregon, but still advertise in West Virginia and take pari-mutuel bets from residents. With all the changes in sports betting, we think the time is right to change the pari-mutuel laws to give the local tracks a chance to compete.
Casino Gambling in West Virginia
The racetracks in the state have been given the right to offer casino games at their properties as an alternative source of income. This has been a lifeline to these tracks, as the declining horse racing revenue was impacting their ability to operate. There are currently no other land-based casinos aside from the ones offered at these four facilities, which seems like more than enough for the population living in the state
Online Casinos in West Virginia
Online casinos are not part of any land-based operation in West Virginia at the moment but a new law should allow for the activity in 2019. As of March 2019, it is only waiting for the Governor’s signature. Once online casinos become legal in West Virginia, you can be sure that there will be plenty of options to choose from in that space. To make your choices easier, we will compile a list of top recommended online casinos from our reviews of all the available sites. We have a casino team dedicated to testing and reviewing these sites, and giving each one rating and recommendation.
You may be wondering what our review team takes into consideration we writing a review. Well, we won’t bore you will all the details, but the main factors include the quality of the mobile platform (far more important these days than ever before) and the number of mobile casino games. Also crucial are the promotions being offered to new and existing players. Also, we like to recommend sites that make it very easy to contact them 24 hours a day if you have an issue and those that pay their players the fastest.
Lottery in West Virginia
The West Virginia Lottery is a full-scale lottery, offering draw games on a daily basis for residents of the state. Also, if you want to take a shot at winning hundreds of millions of dollars in one draw, you can access games like Powerball which pool players from all over the United States. Lottery retailers also offer scratch tickets which can run you up to $25 a piece but give a chance to win an instant prize. Proceeds from the lottery help to fund social programs in the state.
West Virginia Gambling FAQ
Is sports betting legal in West Virginia?
YES! West Virginia was one of the first states to adopt sports betting legislation after the repeal of PASPA, and the first legal sports bet was may on August 30th, 2018. This was a monumental day for the state, and since the launch, there has been a lot of action at the licensed facilities.
When will online sports betting be legal in West Virginia?
It is already legal but the West Virginia sports betting operators are pretty slow rolling out their online sportsbooks. It will all accelerate in 2019 and all operators will likely have mobile sportsbooks available to West Virginia residents.
What is the best online sportsbook for residents of West Virginia?
The ones on our recommended list above are an excellent place to start, but finding the perfect sportsbook for you could take a little more digging. You should be checking each site for how the bet flow works, and if it makes sense for how you like to bet. Also, you want to confirm that there are the payment options you like to use, so you aren’t feeling uncomfortable sending your money to a site. It is a personal choice, but if you start with sites recommended by experts like our team, then you are headed in the right direction.