West Virginia Gambling Helps State Earn Needed Tax Revenue During Difficult Year

Written By Chris Imperiale on November 10, 2020 - Last Updated on March 21, 2023

This year continues to be one of the most difficult throughout the entire US. With many out of work due to COVID-19, the Mountain State’s economy has been severely affected.

Fortunately, West Virginia offers a legal gambling market that helped drive lots of added revenue.

Since the start of 2020, WV sportsbooks are responsible for earning the state over $1.3 million.

These much-needed funds all go toward education and the senior population within the state. Both of these areas were extremely impacted by the spread of the coronavirus, and continue to be today.

WV sports betting law implemented a 10% privilege tax on all sportsbook revenue.

After the earnings pay for the administrative costs that come from a sports wagering industry, the remaining profits go to the State Lottery Fund. From there, WV officials distribute money into schools, care for senior citizens and tourism.

Thanks to legal sports betting, residents in WV are still seeing benefits in all of these departments.

Of course, the importance of online sportsbooks in the state can’t be understated. They are now driving the majority of the betting handle, and it appears as if that should only keep increasing.

The state now features a total of five online sports betting apps available for download. They are:

Online wagering has provided a massive boost to the WV market so far and will do so going forward.

Even when retail establishments were forced to close because of the nationwide quarantine, online sportsbooks still took bets.

Despite there being no popular markets available for bettors, online platforms still earned the state more than $60,000 during those 10 weeks casinos were shut down.

Let’s examine how sports betting and now the launch of online casinos will keep offering help to those around the state.

Sports betting revenue in WV

Sports betting was legalized in WV in August 2018. It became the fifth state in the country to have legal retail sports wagering, then the third with online betting in December 2018.

Since the initial launch, WV sportsbooks have earned the state over $3.5 million.

While the WV market might not compare to the betting figures posted in New Jersey, this revenue is more than substantial. That’s a lot of money that can be used to help people and communities around the state.

It should also be noted that sports betting in WV has changed a lot during this time. More importantly, it’s gotten significantly better in recent months.

In August 2019, the state launched two of the best online platforms available in any state in DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook.

Residents in the state didn’t have access to any online sportsbook for an entire six months prior to their release.

Then in September 2020, more sports betting apps went live. Both William Hill Sportsbook and the Betly Sportsbook hit the market.

They joined DraftKings and FanDuel, as well as BetMGM Sportsbook, which launched back in January.

With a solid mobile market in place now, WV sports betting should start to reach new heights.

Since the beginning of August, when several popular sports were back to playing, sports betting revenue has seen a boost.

Over the course of that period, the state accepted nearly $800,000 as its portion of the earnings. With the NFL season and college football betting in full swing, figures should keep increasing.

In the last six weeks, WV sportsbooks’ revenue exceeded $1 million on three occasions.

The more than $1.4 million sportsbooks made for the week of Oct. 10 translated into almost $120,000 in usable money for the state.

WV online casinos

When WV online casinos debuted in July 2020, the state received an additional stream of revenue.

While sports betting is definitely considered a success thus far, online casino betting has blown it out of the water in the early going.

In the first 14 weeks since going live, online casinos in the Mountain State have provided about $470,000 in taxed revenue.

At the moment, the state features two online casino apps. They are:

Together, they’ve taken in at least $10 million in weekly betting handle for nine consecutive weeks.

Online casinos set a new record for betting handle for the week ending Oct. 3. They accepted over $17.5 million in wagers.

Naturally, as more money is bet, online casinos generate more revenue. They’ve made at least $340,000 in earnings in six straight weeks.

In the last four weeks of betting information provided by the WV Lottery, DraftKings and BetMGM saw over $1.7 million in online casino revenue. This totals more than $215,000 for the state fund.

Similar to sports betting, the online casino market is in a great place to keep doing well.

Current operators are improving their platforms almost daily, while alternative options are gearing up to hit the market, too.

It’s very possible that legal gambling starts to produce even more for the state as online casinos become more established.

Now that money is flowing into the state, it can reallocate these funds for multiple projects.

The State Lottery Fund has paid for technology upgrades as well as renovations at several WV public schools.

Legal betting revenue has even created a scholarship fund for students within the state. The Promise Scholarship is a merit-based financial aid program to reward students who succeed in the classroom with money for college.

Additionally, revenue has gone toward enhanced services at senior citizen centers, and ways to increase tourism.

Chris Imperiale Avatar
Written by
Chris Imperiale

Chris Imperiale is currently the Managing Editor of Catena Media's US online lottery site, PlayiLottery. He used to be the Managing Editor of PlayWV, covering the sports betting and online casino industries in the Mountain State. He has a journalism degree from Rutgers University and was formerly on staff at Bleacher Report.

View all posts by Chris Imperiale
Privacy Policy