Is Sports Betting Legal in West Virginia?
West Virginia is truly living up to its Wild and Wonderful motto with regards to sports betting. With horse tracks, dog tracks, casinos, and a need to inject some money into the state budget, West Virginia is the perfect spot for sports betting. The state passed a law two months before the strike down of PASPA to get the ball rolling.
There are no pro teams in the state and it is tucked in a part of the country where sports betting has always been popular. The Rust Belt has always been something of a gambling hub, so all of this makes a lot of sense.
West Virginia is ready and raring to go. In fact, The Mountain State could be one of just a handful ready to go by the start of the 2018 football season. West Virginia has five casinos and most of them are easily accessible from neighboring states, so the economic implications of this could be staggering, especially as Ohio plods along and as Pennsylvania continues to dig its heels in with an astronomical set of fees and taxes for the operators.
West Virginia also has a lot of ways in which it can go about this. The lottery has oversight when it comes to the state’s current casinos, but with low licensing fees, third party operators like William Hill or Penn National Gaming make a lot of sense as well. On the other hand, keeping it in house would mean even more profits for the state, which is a pretty sweet deal.
No matter how it is set up, West Virginia is just about ready to go. Casinos in the state are building additional areas for sportsbooks and apps are in the works. Congratulations, West Virginia, you can proudly say that you are one of the first states to offer sports betting following the strike down of PASPA.
Recent News Stories About Betting
Not only has West Virginia moved forward in rapid fashion, it seems like the state is desperate to be the first one to market in the area, as CJ Lovelace discussed for Herald-Mail Media.
The West Virginia Metro News echoed similar sentiments and talked about the potential structure for legalized sports betting in this June 9 article regarding the lottery and third party operators.
A surefire sign that West Virginia is on the fast track is that gambling addiction counselors are being trained for sports betting addiction. A lot of states have cited addiction as a reason to stay away from sports betting, but West Virginia is embracing the possibility and equipping its support staff accordingly.
Per the Dominion Post on June 26, FanDuel will be managing the sports betting setup at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs. The hope is to have sports betting up and ready for the fall.
Also on June 26, the Charleston Gazette-Mail expanded on the plans for sports betting, noting that all casinos are free to pick their own operators. The Lottery Commission is quoted in this piece.
Sports betting is already legal in the state of West Virginia. Now we just wait for the first bets to be placed, which should come over the next couple of months.