West Virginia Sports Betting

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West Virginia Sports BettingWest Virginia sports betting is available to Virginia bettors. This includes a growing number of online sports betting apps.

West Virginia has offered retail casinos to residents for quite a few years. Retail sportsbooks started operations three years ago. Finally, online sports betting launched less than two years ago, alongside online casino apps and online poker apps. West Virginia is one of a handful of US states that provide all three types of online gambling.

West Virginia Sports Betting Recent Updates

It’s been a busy few years for West Virginia’s sports betting scene!

  • In 2018, West Virginia legalized sports betting two months ahead of the Supreme Court’s historic decision to strike down PASPA, removing the federal ban on sports betting entirely.
  • Over the next year, retail sportsbooks launched as brick-and-mortar operations partnered with the state’s five land-based casinos.
  • Mobile sports betting launched in March 2019, though the sole operator closed down shortly after. DraftKings and FanDuel launched later in 2019, solidifying mobile sports betting’s presence in the state.
  • BetMGM recently launched mobile sports betting in January 2020. The sportsbook partnered with Hollywood Casino, which also offers sports betting by DraftKings. This is the most recent sportsbook launch in the state.
  • Though the COVID-19 pandemic hit a variety of industries particularly hard, sports betting revenue actually increased for West Virginia throughout 2020. Recent revenue numbers are higher than ever, totaling many more millions of dollars than sports betting brought in pre-pandemic.

Top West Virginia Sports Betting Sites

Fortunately for West Virginia bettors, there are lots of great sports betting choices to pick from. Under West Virginia’s sports betting legislation, each sportsbook must be paired with a retail casino. There aren’t any independently operating mobile sportsbook providers.

As a result, only five sportsbooks currently operate in West Virginia. However, the various casinos scattered throughout this state haven’t yet capped their allotted “skins.” Each casino is allowed three sportsbook brand partnerships, and only one, Hollywood Casino, has partnered with two sportsbooks.

This may indicate that we can expect more sportsbooks to launch over the next year or so. The West Virginia Lottery has not yet announced whether new sportsbooks have applied for licensure within the state, though it usually does so when an operator announces their intention to offer sports betting.

FanDuel Sportsbook West Virginia (9.5/10)

  • Bonus Offer: Claim a $1000 risk-free bet
  • Platforms: Desktop, Android, iOS
  • Partnerships: The Greenbrier Resort
  • Key Features: Search bar, daily fantasy sports, odds format options
  • Ways to Deposit: Electronic wallets (i.e. PayPal or Skill), credit/debit cards, PayNearMe, bank transfers

As the first mobile sportsbook to arrive in West Virginia, FanDuel is also one of the best operators in the industry today. It offers a very well streamlined mobile app experience, including a search bar and an easy-access betting slip that allows you to change the format of your odds.

It’s also a great app for its regular promotions, particularly during big game days, and live streaming functionality. Check it out for its deep and varied betting markets and daily fantasy sports if you also enjoy that activity.

DraftKings Sportsbook West Virginia (9.5/10)

  • Bonus Offer: Five $5 free bets + 20% deposit match up to $1000
  • Platforms: Desktop, Android, iOS
  • Partnerships: Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
  • Key Features: Mobile-only betting pools, excellent app interface, great market depth, and variety
  • Ways to Deposit: Electronic wallets (i.e. PayPal or Skill), credit/debit cards, PayNearMe, bank transfers

DraftKings is the main counterpart and competitor of FanDuel, and it’s also active in West Virginia. Give it a shot and you’ll find a fantastic mobile app with arguably the best odds and market depth in the industry, even for relatively niche sporting events like eSports.

This app also provides daily fantasy sports access and live streaming, plus special “mobile-only” betting pools and app users have exclusive access to. The mobile app is the best way to experience DraftKings sports betting by far.

William Hill West Virginia (8.5/10)

  • Bonus Offer: Up to $500 risk-free bet
  • Platforms: Desktop, Android, iOS
  • Partnerships: The Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort
  • Key Features: Great international betting markets, top-tier loyalty program, eSports betting
  • Ways to Deposit: Electronic wallets (i.e. PayPal or Skill), credit/debit cards, PayNearMe, bank transfers

If you’re in West Virginia, you might also want to try the William Hill sportsbook: one of the most famous in Nevada and a great choice for everyday users. It features excellent international betting markets and a top-tier loyalty program that divide you with bonus rewards the more you use the mobile app.

It’s also one of the few sportsbooks to offer eSports betting alongside DraftKings, so it’s a great place to get a jump on wagering for this unique sports league before anyone else. The opening bonus, while not being as generous as FanDuel’s, is still a good choice for new sports bettors.

BetMGM West Virginia (9/10)

  • Bonus Offer: $600 risk-free bet
  • Platforms: Desktop, Android, iOS
  • Partnerships: Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
  • Key Features: Great rewards program, good international betting pools, user-friendly interface
  • Ways to Deposit: Electronic wallets (i.e. PayPal or Skill), credit/debit cards, PayNearMe, bank transfers

Don’t forget BetMGM: a late but excellent competitor to the sportsbook industry. This international operator provides fantastic betting markets and odds for international sports like rugby, Korean baseball, and Australian rules football.

But it’s also a great choice for the overall quality of its mobile app, which is smooth and user-friendly. Check this app out for its reward program, which gives you bonus site credit and other advantages the more you use it.

Remember, each of these mobile apps also has a physical presence at their partner casinos or resorts. Therefore, you can visit any of these casinos to enjoy other gambling activities and get your sports betting fix. Fortunately, you don’t need to visit these casinos to complete the sportsbook registration process.

Betly Sportsbook (7.5/10)

  • Bonus Offer: N/A
  • Platforms: Desktop, Android, iOS 
  • Partnerships: Mardi Gras Casino, Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack
  • Key Features: Lots of unique promotions for local games, good app interface, solid live streaming functionality
  • Ways to Deposit: credit/debit cards, bank transfers

Betly is a relatively unique sportsbook in this collection in that it is focused on local American sports and is a small-time operator compared to all these big industry giants. This does mean that it provides a greater than average amount of live game promotions – it’s an excellent mobile sportsbook if you want to jump into the action for local or nearby games and benefit from unique wagers at the same time.

While it doesn’t have as deep betting markets as the other operators, it does offer good live streaming functionality and a smooth user interface. Ultimately, it may be the best choice if you enjoy small-time or localized sports betting more than browsing international markets.

All West Virginia Sportsbook Sites

SportsbookOpening BonusLocal Partner
FanDuel$1000 risk-free betThe Greenbrier Resort
DraftKingsFive $5 free bets + 20% deposit match up to $1000Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
William HillUp to $500 risk-free betThe Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort
BetMGM$600 risk-free betHollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
BetlyN/AMardi Gras Casino, Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack

How To Place A Bet In West Virginia

No matter which mobile sportsbook you ultimately choose, you’ll need to download and register first before you can place any bets.

Download Your Sportsbook

Your downloading method will vary based on whether you use Android or Apple iOS devices.

If you have an iOS device:

  • Type the name of your chosen sportsbook into the App Store’s search bar. Then download the sportsbook once you locate it. Be sure to download the correct app for your state. With DraftKings and FanDuel, for example, search for the DraftKings Sportsbook app and not the Daily Fantasy Sports app. 

If you have an Android device:

  • Visit the web page for your sportsbook of choice. The Google Play Store will not allow you to download any gambling apps
  • After finding the sportsbook page, look for a “download for Android” or similar page
  • Download the mobile app using your Android device through the website
  • You may need to give a .apk file permission to install on your phone

Either way, installation of the mobile app should begin automatically once you download it to your mobile device. 

Registration

After downloading the sportsbook, register using the app’s mobile interface. You’ll need to provide some personal information like your date of birth, address, and Social Security number so the app can verify your location and identity.

The app will also automatically install geolocation software so it can tell when you are within West Virginia’s state lines.

West Virginia does not require you to visit a retail casino to complete the registration process.

Funding Your Account

After registering for the app, you can connect a bank account, electronic wallet, or credit/debit card and fund your account. Then you can place a wager!

West Virginia Legal Sportsbooks

Although illegal sportsbooks may seem attractive at first glance, they are never worth your time and money. That’s because legal sports betting sites in West Virginia have better digital security (as a prerequisite for licensure in the first place). This digital security can protect both your funds/winnings and your personal information, ensuring that it won’t be stolen by any cybercriminal.

Furthermore, licensed sportsbooks in West Virginia are regulated by the West Virginia Lottery. The Lottery is a government organization you can turn to if you ever have a grievance with your sportsbook operator. The regulator makes sure that each licensed sportsbook treats its users lawfully.

Even better, legal sports betting sites are safer because they are required by law to have insurance if your winnings are ever lost due to a glitch or a digital hack. All in all, offshore or illegal betting sites or apps are never worth your time.

However, you will need to remember to report any winnings come tax time. Taxes for sportsbook winnings are due for the year they are withdrawn, not necessarily won. West Virginian sportsbook operators are also required to report their revenue to the state government and IRS.

West Virginia Sports Betting Revenue

Currently, revenue for West Virginia’s various sportsbook has become unpredictable due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are indications that revenue is high and had a spike in 2020.

For example, West Virginia’s sports betting revenue for the month of November 2020 was $4.41 million. This was actually an increase from October 2020, which only had total revenue of $3.74 million. This may be because more people were inside and wanted to participate in sports betting but were not able to visit sports arenas or tracks due to lockdown rules.

Even with the recent hike in profits, West Virginia has historically enjoyed a steady upward trend in revenue since it legalized retail and online sports betting in 2018. The trend will likely continue in the future as mobile sportsbooks become more popular and other states join those who have already legalized sports betting.

How West Virginia Compares To Other States

Like New Jersey, West Virginia was one of the first states to legalize sports betting. In fact, West Virginia already had laws ready to legalize sports betting when the Supreme Court ruled that PASPA was unconstitutional in May 2018.

West Virginian legislators wrote and passed the bill – SB 415 – in the State Senate in March of the same year. They anticipated the above ruling on PASPA. As a result, West Virginia was ready to start work on sports betting regulations and licenses as soon as federal law no longer prohibited the activity.

All in all, West Virginia has been relatively proactive and pro-sports betting compared to other more recent sports betting legalizers, such as Virginia, which only launched sports betting apps in January 2021 or Tennessee, which launched sports betting but not online casinos. 

West Virginia Betting Successes And Failures

West Virginia Sports Betting Success

West Virginia’s greatest sports betting success has undoubtedly been its quick adoption and launch of online sports betting platforms alongside online casino games and online poker. For instance, West Virginia maintains five retail casino properties, each of which received allowances from the law to provide online gaming licenses. All five casinos exercised these options.

Furthermore, West Virginia’s sports betting law was also written to allow each casino to have up to three “skins” or mobile sportsbook operators under their partnership. No casino has exhausted its skin allotment just yet, leaving plenty of room for expansion in the future.

West Virginia also doesn’t have any limitations on collegiate or college sports betting. Therefore, sports betting enthusiasts can feel free to place bets on their favorite college teams and sporting events, both in-state and out-of-state. Some states don’t allow for collegiate sports betting for in-state teams.

Lastly, West Virginia does not require you to visit a retail casino to complete the registration process for a sportsbook app. This is quite fortunate given the recent pandemic. Some states, like Nevada and Illinois, require in-person visits to finish app registration, although this requirement in Illinois has been suspended.

Where Could West Virginia Improve Online Gambling?

Even with all of these excellent developments and West Virginia’s general speed in launching online and retail sports betting, there are some places where the state can improve.

For instance, West Virginia doesn’t have any real professional sports teams that call it home. This has limited the sports betting environment slightly. Most West Virginians who love professional sports are fans of out-of-state teams, which may drive down engagement and revenue for the state overall.

Furthermore, while West Virginia does allow eSports betting, it does include an age limit. All eSports gambling event participants must be 18 years of age or older. Still, these are minor downsides when you consider how positive the launch of sports betting has been in West Virginia overall.

Moreover, the expansion of West Virginia sports betting truly lies in additional sportsbook apps taking advantage of the remaining skins allotted to West Virginia’s retail casinos.

Legalization Effort In West Virginia

The sportsbook legalization effort in West Virginia was incredibly fast and even came before the Supreme Court overturned the PASPA in May 2018.

Gov. Jim Justice helped West Virginia’s legislature produce and pass SB 415 as early as March 2018, which was two months before the above-mentioned Supreme Court decision. The governor then let the bill become law without his signature so he couldn’t be accused of a conflict of interest.

The result? Sports betting launched just a few months later in August 2018. Specifically, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races book to the first legal sports bets on August 30 of 2018. West Virginia was the second state to legalize sports betting, just after New Jersey.

All in all, West Virginia’s legalization effort is a great example of fast-acting and rapid law-writing.

Timeline Of West Virginia Sports Betting

  • March 2018 – SB 415 is passed in West Virginia’s House of Representatives and Senate. Governor Jim Justice allows the law to be passed without signing it
  • May 2018 – The US Supreme Court overturns the PASPA, allowing sports betting legalization to be decided by states
  • August 30, 2018 – Hollywood Casino books the first legal sports bets in the state
  • September 1, 2018 – Sports betting fully launches with other retail casinos in the state
  • August 2019 – Sportsbook operator FanDuel arrives in West Virginia to offer online sports betting. DraftKings arrives soon after, marking a permanent online betting presence in the state
  • January 2020 – BetMGM joined the online sports betting market in West Virginia

West Virginia Teams

West Virginia Professional Sports Teams

One of the biggest downsides to West Virginian sports betting is that there aren’t any major sports leagues that call the state home. Instead, the West Virginia Mountaineers – a college football team – is the closest thing that the state’s residents have to a homegrown squad of ballplayers.

This being said, many West Virginian sportsbook enthusiasts enjoy placing wagers on professional teams from nearby states or big cities. For instance, the Pittsburg Steelers, an NFL team, are popular favorites in West Virginia, as are the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles.

On the MLB side of things, West Virginian sports fans usually support the Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies, Cleveland Indians, or the Baltimore Orioles. Other popular teams include the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers, both of which are NHL teams with some pre-existing rivalry that makes for some fun wagering opportunities.

West Virginia College Sports Teams

As mentioned, West Virginia’s Mountaineers are its most popular homegrown team. It’s a college football team, and fans love to place wagers on them since West Virginia’s sports betting legislation places no restrictions on collegiate betting. This stands in stark contrast to New Jersey, which does not allow in-state collegiate betting for NCAA football teams.

Aside from the Mountaineers, many West Virginian college football fans support the Marshall Thundering Herd, which is another varsity football team for the state’s colleges. 

Other Sports To Bet On In West Virginia

While football, baseball, and hockey are crowd favorites, most of the big sportsbooks in West Virginia will also allow you to place wagers in markets for a variety of other sports. Basketball is another big favorite, but golf and NASCAR racing are favorite betting as well. Betting markets for these activities are deep and varied, particularly if you check out some of the above-mentioned major sportsbooks.

Other sportsbook markets for mixed martial arts, rugby, cycling, darts, and boxing are offered as well. In total, West Virginia is one of the most relaxed states in terms of betting markets. Very few things are restricted, with the exceptions of high school sporting events and eSports betting if the participants are under 18 years of age.

 


West Virginia Sports Betting FAQs

Is Online Sports Betting Legal In West Virginia?

Yes. West Virginia has fully legalized online sports betting provided that the operator in question has a license and partnership with one of the state’s five retail casinos. Each casino can partner with up to three sportsbook brands (called “skins”).

How Old Do I Have To Be To Bet Online In West Virginia?

As in other US states, you must be 21 years of age or older to bet online in West Virginia. This is the same age you have to be to visit a retail casino location and place a sports wager at any of the brick-and-mortar sportsbooks as well.

Is It Safe To Use An Online Sportsbook App?

Yes. The licensed and legalized sportsbooks in Virginia are totally safe and use SSL certification, alongside other digital security methods, to protect your funds and personal information from hackers.

Who Regulates Online Sportsbook Apps In West Virginia?

All sports betting activities are regulated by the West Virginia Lottery. This organization helped to launch online sportsbook operations relatively quickly after retail sportsbooks launched. It’s responsible both for licensing new sportsbooks and for regulating existing sportsbooks within West Virginia’s state lines.

What Sports And Events Can I Bet On In West Virginia?

West Virginia doesn’t place very many restrictions on sports betting opportunities. You can place wagers on almost any sport provided the operator you use has betting markets for the league. You cannot place wagers on high school sporting events or under-18 eSports events.

Do I Need To Be A Resident Of West Virginia To Bet Online?

Yes. All West Virginian sportsbook technology installs geolocation software by default. This tracks your location and prevents you from using the sportsbook in question if you step out of state lines.

About the Author

Amber Hoffman

Amber is the Managing Editor of Gaming Today. She writes for a variety of websites in diverse industries, including gaming and travel and is a fan of football (not soccer) and Gaelic sports.

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