The gambling industry is picking up steam in West Virginia, which was once known for its conservative betting laws. However, sports gambling is still heavily restricted in the state, which means residents have been tirelessly looking for other ways of legally placing wagers on sporting events. Fortunately, there is now a way they can accomplish that feat. We break it down in our latest state-by-state review.
West Virginia Online Sports Betting
With more and more states legalizing sports betting, others have for years been seeking other alternatives to safely place wagers on games. We are breaking down the sports betting rules and regulations for all 50 states, and in this installment, we are looking at the laws in West Virginia.
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West Virginia — known for its breathtaking mountains and coal mining industry — has become more liberal in comparison to other states when it comes to gambling.
Commercial casinos are not allowed, but there are five tribal casino facilities in West Virginia. These casinos were legalized in 1994. Horse and dog racing wagers are legal in the state, but poker gambling is strongly enforced. West Virginia does have a state-run lottery and even charitable gaming is legal, under certain restrictions. Social gambling, which can consist of poker night at a friend’s house, is also illegal.
Laws surrounding daily fantasy sports leagues and online gaming remain not specified and open to interpretation. In total, West Virginia has reeled in $1 billion in gambling revenue — 1/3 of it produced through tax revenue.
As for sports betting, under strict federal laws, it is illegal to place a wager on a professional or college sporting event in West Virginia. Even so, there is a casino that also has a sportsbook. The Hollywood Casino open in 2019.
The emergence of offshore, Internet-based sportsbooks has given Americans alternatives when it comes to sports gambling. These websites operate offshore and are fully licensed within their respective countries, which also make it open for U.S. customers to use.
Legal West Virginia Betting Sites & Online Sportsbooks
West Virginia may not have a professional sports team to call its own, but the state’s strong NCAA presence makes it attractive for residents to place wagers on college sporting events.
The West Virginia Mountaineers boast an elite basketball program as well as a competitive football team each season.
West Virginia is surrounded by states that have major professional sports teams such as Washington and Pennsylvania. It is common to find residents in West Virginia supporting clubs such as the Washington Redskins or Pittsburgh Steelers.
West Virginians don’t have to be left in the dark when it comes to sports betting anymore. With websites such as Bovada.lv and BetOnline.com — two major players in the online sports betting game — residents can now safely and legally place wagers on their favorite teams without having to worry about potentially breaking any laws.
Bovada and BetOnline both offer some of the same features live sportsbooks would, and often times, even more. For instance, once you’ve signed up for either online sportsbook, customers will receive a welcome bonus — essentially free cash that is deposited directly into your account to use on your next big wager.
Regardless if you’re looking for a money line bet on English Premier League soccer or odds on the upcoming Kentucky Derby, Bovada and BetOnline have everything you’re looking for when it comes to sports wagering.
Horse racing is allowed in West Virginia, but for a change of pace, perhaps consider using Bovada or BetOnline’s full-fledged horse books with daily odds from tracks around the world.
West Virginia Sports Betting Legalization Timeline
Leading up to 2018, WV Legalizes Early
West Virginia does not take guff from anyone! And that includes the federal government, this state's attitude was evident when, even before the PASPA decision, they declared that "the US Congress has. no power to prevent state governments from authorizing sports betting." Take that!
With this in mind, the state legalized sports betting a few months before the federal government officially allowed them to do so.
2019 Sees Betting Expanded to Online
With sports betting already allowed, the state was well-prepared to move even forward on this front. In March 2019, over the state lottery's objections, both chambers passed sports betting legalization on the internet.
This bill faced very little other opposition, and did not even require a signature from the governor.