The road to legalized sports betting in West Virginia began in March 2018 when the state legislature passed the bill allowing WV to become one of the few states in the US with sports gambling.
This all came together after the US Supreme Court decided to overrule the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).
One year later, and in the short history of WV sports betting, a lot has happened. Here’s a look at the current sports betting landscape in West Virginia, including both land-based sportsbooks in WV and online sports betting.
WV online sports betting apps
WV online sports betting initially launched in Dec. 2018. BetLucky Sportsbook provided online betting to Mardi Gras Sportsbook and Wheeling Island Sportsbook but was shut down in March 2019 due to a contract dispute. WV has been without a mobile betting app since.
|WV sportsbook||Retail partner||Retail launch date||Online partner||Online launch date|
|Hollywood Casino Sportsbook||William Hill||Sept. 1, 2018||DraftKings Sportsbook||TBD|
|Mountaineer Sportsbook||William Hill||Nov. 21, 2018||TBD||TBD|
|FanDuel Sportsbook at The Greenbrier||FanDuel||Sept. 13, 2018||Likely FanDuel||TBD|
|Mardi Gras Sportsbook||TBD; Formerly partnered with Miomni||Dec. 27, 2018||TBD; Formerly partnered with Miomni||Currently suspended; Originally launched Dec. 27, 2018|
|Wheeling Island Sportsbook||TBD; Formerly partnered with Miomni||Dec. 27, 2018||TBD; Formerly partnered with Miomni||Currently suspended; Originally launched Dec. 27, 2018|
In Dec. 2018, DraftKings Sportsbook inked a deal with Hollywood Casino Sportsbook owned by Penn National. WV Bettors have been waiting patiently for the popular sports betting app to make its way to their devices.
Now, it looks like the wait is nearly over. On May 22, the Lottery announced DraftKings completed its tests and may soft launch its online sports betting app by the end of May. However, DraftKings is remaining tight-lipped on an exact timeline:
“We can confirm DraftKings has been taking part in the required testing phase. We do not have any firm date yet on next steps, including a soft launch or full public launch in West Virginia. Will keep you updated along the way.”
If the DraftKings app is anything like its New Jersey one, the WV residents are in for an amazing treat. The sportsbook is one of the best around.
The mobile app should be available for download on your Apple or Android device. There will likely be a web-based option for PC and Mac users, too.
FanDuel Sportsbook has had a very similar success since joining the sports betting market in NJ. In WV, it will be affiliated with its own land-based book: The FanDuel Sportsbook at The Greenbrier.
The Greenbrier partnered with FanDuel with intentions of the company running both its retail and online sportsbooks.
Like DraftKings, FanDuel is a revenue leader in the Garden State.
There will more than likely be a mobile app that both iOS and Android customers can download. Expect to see a browser-based website version as well.
William Hill Sportsbook
William Hill has taken its sports betting expertise from the United Kingdom to Las Vegas to NJ. Next, it will have an online sports-betting platform in WV.
William Hill provides retail operations for both Hollywood Casino and the Mountaineer Sportsbook.
Similar to the other new books set to go live, there should be a William Hill app for Android and Apple. It will also have a desktop sportsbook you can access from a computer.
Land-based WV sportsbooks
All five WV casinos launched land-based sportsbooks before the end of 2018. They are:
- Hollywood Casino Sportsbook
- Mountaineer Sportsbook
- The FanDuel Sportsbook at The Greenbrier
- Mardi Gras Casino Sportsbook
- Wheeling Island Sportsbook
Unfortunately, Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras sportsbooks suspended operations in March 2019 and are now seeking a new sports betting partner. A contract dispute between the casinos’ owner, Delaware North and its sports betting provider, Miomni led to a recent court filing seeking a dissolution of the contract.
Hollywood Casino Sportsbook
Located in Charles Town, WV, Hollywood Casino Sportsbook is the largest casino in the state. It was the first sportsbook to launch in WV, when it opened its betting windows in Sept. 2018.
Depending on the week, it can command over 80% of the sports betting handle. One reason for its success is its vicinity to major cities without sports betting, such as:
- Washington, D.C.
Hollywood Casino Sportsbook hours:
- Monday – Thursday: 10 a.m. – midnight
- Friday: 10 a.m. – 1 a.m.
- Saturday: 9 a.m. – 1 a.m.
- Sunday: 10 a.m. – midnight
Mountaineer Sportsbook sits on the border of WV and Ohio in New Cumberland, WV. It opened its sportsbook in Nov. 2018 and is the closest major city to Pittsburgh, PA.
Mountaineer Sportsbook hours:
- Monday – Thursday: 10 a.m. – midnight
- Friday: 10 a.m. – 1 a.m.
- Saturday: 9 a.m. – 1 a.m.
- Sunday: 9 a.m. – midnight
The FanDuel Sportsbook at The Greenbrier
Located in White Sulphur Springs, WV, The Greenbrier is the only private casino in the country. It is owned by WV Governor Jim Justice and started accepting sports wagers in Sept. 2018.
Sports betting is limited to Casino Club members and hotel guests. However, there is a regular clientele in WV that book rooms on big sporting event weekends just to place a wager.
The FanDuel Sportsbook at The Greenbrier hours:
- Monday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 3 a.m.
- Friday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 4 a.m.
- Sunday: 1 p.m. – 3 a.m.
Benefits of betting on legal WV sports betting apps
Betting with legal sports apps is the way to go in 2019. Gamblers no longer need to trust random offshore websites or local bookies because they now have options that are legal.
Placing a wager should be an easy and stress-free process that adds excitement to sporting events. With so many respected brands in the sports betting world now, there’s no need to have to deal with a sportsbook that’s not officially regulated within the state.
Beyond knowing that you have the insurance of funding your account with a well-known entity, legal sportsbooks provide a lot to their customers.
Whether it’s through a loyalty program with points or with welcome bonuses and daily promotions, most legal online sports betting apps give bettors plenty of reason to sign up.
Popular events for sporting betting in WV
Every so often, certain sporting events occur that create a special buzz among sports bettors. These games have gotten so popular that even average sports fans feel inclined to put down a wager.
Here are a few of the top sports betting events in WV:
WV sports betting history
Rep. Shawn Fluharty introduced House Bill 2178, a bill legalizing online gambling, including casino games and poker. Focusing on the impending launch of several new online sportsbooks, the West Virginia Lottery Commission announced it would not support the gambling expansion bill.
Fluharty reintroduces a sports betting bill in early January. State Sen. Stephen Baldwin files a matching bill, S 106, in the Senate. Neither bill passes, but the ball is rolling.
Later that month, State Senator Ryan Ferns files S 415. This bill set the license fee at $100,000 and established that sports betting would be taxed at ten percent of revenue.
The bill quickly passed through both chambers of the legislature. Gov. Jim Justice allowed the bill to become law without his signature, and thus, West Virginia became a sports betting state on March 3, 2018.
In March, Fluharty introduces H 2751. The bill failed to pass but succeeded in stirring up the conversation.
In September, the state commissioned a $160,000 feasibility study regarding legal sports betting in West Virginia. The study found that 30 states will eventually legalize sports betting, which emphasized the importance of timing for legalizing sports betting in the Mountain State.
State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed numerous amicus curiae briefs in support of New Jersey’s federal lawsuit against PASPA.
WV sports betting timeline
West Virginia sports betting is possible because of a US Supreme Court case brought by the state of New Jersey in the spring of 2018 that allowed states other than Nevada to legalize and regulate wagering. West Virginia was the first state to pass a new law in the wake of that decision.
The West Virginia Lottery Commission is overseeing the state’s sports betting industry.
Here is the timeline of major events that led to legal sports betting in WV:
- Aug. 10, 2018: The West Virginia Lottery Commission granted interim sports betting permits to Penn National and FanDuel.
- Aug. 30, 2018: Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races became the first legal sportsbook in the state to accept wagers.
- Sept. 13, 2018: The Greenbrier opened its sports betting windows and maintains the only private casino in America. It made a deal with daily fantasy sports titan FanDuel Group in June 2018 to operate its sports betting facility.
- Nov. 21, 2018: Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort became the third sports betting location
- Dec. 27, 2018: Mardi Gras Casino and Resort and Wheeling Island Hotel launched both retail and mobile sports betting
- March 6, 2019: Mardi Gras and Wheeling sportsbooks, along with their online app, BetLucky Sportsbook cease operations
WV sports betting FAQs
Who can bet on sports in West Virginia?
You will have to be 21 years of age to bet on sports in the state.
If you want to bet online or via mobile devices in West Virginia, you must be located within the state. You do not need to be a resident of the state in order to register for a real-money sports betting account. That means people from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, etc. could simply cross into the state and register an account and place bets while on West Virginia soil.
Millions of people live within driving distance of WV’s borders and its five casinos, so there could be a great deal of mobile wagering soon after launch.
Is there an age requirement to bet on sports in WV?
Yes. You must be 21 years old to place bets in West Virginia.
Do you need to be a WV resident to place a sports bet?
No, but you must be physically located within WV’s borders at the time of placing a wager.
Who oversees sports betting in WV?
The West Virginia Lottery Commission.
Are there mobile sportsbooks available in WV?
Not at the moment, however, DraftKings, FanDuel and William Hill are all planning on releasing mobile apps in the near future.