West Virginia Legislature Proposes Updated Bill To Expand Legal Betting In The Mountain State

Written By Chris Imperiale on March 15, 2021 - Last Updated on April 4, 2021

West Virginia Senate Bill 603 has been updated to potentially expand legal sports betting and interactive wagering in the state.

Senator Mike Maroney sponsored this latest adjustment that would allow West Virginia’s hospitality industry, including bars and restaurants, to provide online sports betting applications.

The current law restricts sports betting to just the four racetrack locations, in addition to The Greenbrier.

Part of the update states:

The Legislature finds that the opportunity to participate in sports wagering should not be predominantly limited to out-of-state companies, and that locally owned businesses, especially new small businesses, should also have the opportunity to participate in sports wagering.

For businesses to offer wagering, they must first agree to a contract with a new market entrant to operate an online sportsbook.

This would be incredible news for bettors in the state and the WV sports betting market overall.

WV sports betting expansion

The newest update to the sports betting bill in WV would affect plenty of industries.

A major aspect of the proposed changes is the requirement that all betting providers must be new market entrants.

Any new platform introduced can’t be licensed to participate in sports wagering in any other jurisdiction. It also can’t be owned by any person or entity that’s already licensed to partake in sports betting in any other location.

Under this bill, a new entrant can apply for a West Virginia Lottery sports betting operator’s license for an application fee of $10,000. Licenses will be granted for a five-year period and can be renewed for an additional $10,000 fee.

While some establishments will need to acquire a supplier license to offer sports betting, those with a liquor license are already covered.

The bill reads:

Any holder of a Class A license issued by the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration that contracts with a new market entrant to promote or market sports wagering on the restaurant’s premises is not a supplier required to obtain a license under this article.

If this bill is passed, sports bettors in WV will have more than enough options when it comes to placing a wager. Although it’s difficult to say how long this process could take, it should result in several more mobile platforms to bet through.

Not only does this benefit the state as a whole, but also its residents. With more online sportsbooks available, bettors will have access to more promotions and deals to take advantage of.

Typically, more competition in the state translates to sportsbooks being more aggressive in acquiring customers.

And of course, more betting equals more revenue and funding for the state for things such as education.

Betting on esports

One other noteworthy piece of this update is the addition of esports to WV sportsbooks. Currently, those in the state can’t bet on these events, but that could change going forward.

Some of the most popular esports to wager on are:

  • League of Legends
  • Dota 2
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
  • Call of Duty

We will provide updates on this bill when more news is announced.

Chris Imperiale Avatar
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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.

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