West Virginia became the fifth overall state to offer legal sports betting and the third to do so online. The state enacted a sports betting law in March 2018, which became in effect after the Supreme Court decision to repeal the federal ban, known as PASPA.
Hollywood Casino Charles Town. the largest casino in the state, opened its sports book to the general public on September 1, 2018.
The state allowed all five casinos and racetracks to apply for licenses, for a $100,000 application fee. A renewal fee is required every five years at the same cost. A 10 percent tax on the operators’ gross sports bettting revenue will go to the state.
The West Virginia Lottery Sports Wagering Act gives the state lottery regulatory and licensure responsibilities.
How Sports Betting Became Legal In West Virginia
West Virginia became the first state to legalize sports betting during the 2018 legislative term. Bills were passed in both the Senate and the house within two weeks of each other.
State lawmakers pased the law two months before the Supreme Ruling in May, acting in anticipation of a favorable ruling. That gamble paid off and helped West Virginia become one of the first states to offer residents a regulated sports gambling platform.
S 415 was introduced at the request of the state lottery commision and was more comprehensive than related bills, which were previously unsuccesful. The Senate passed the bill in February 2018, and the House passed it shortly after.
Governor Jim Justice allowed the bill to become a law without his signature in March 2018.
Where Can I Bet In West Virginia?
West Virginia has five commerical casinos and racetracks in place, all five have an operating sportsbook.
In addition to the five brick-and-mortar locations in the state, as of December 27, 2018, West Virginia law allows for license holders to offer sports betting both mobile and online.
Delaware North became the first to do so when it launched its BetLucky.com online and mobile app for West Virginia Sports Betting. More are expected to follow suit sometime in 2019.
For out of state bettors, you do have to travel into West Virginia state lines to place a bet. However, you do not have to travel back to West Virginia to get your winnings. You can simply mail in your winning ticket, and they will mail you a check.
Hollywood Casino Charles Town
Hollywood Casino Charles Town soft-launched its sportsbook on August 30, 2018. The largest West Virginia casino was the first in the state to kick off the sports betting craze. The official launch occrued two days later on September 1, with NFL legend Joe Theismann on hand as part of the celebration.
Hollywood Casino teamed up with William Hill to help operate its sportsbook. Hollywood allows for betting on both professional and collegiate sporting events.
The Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino Charles Town features 24 odds-display screens, as well as 50 feet of wall space filled with 80-inch televisions that show various sporting events. It is located just off the casino floor near the high limit slots and close to Skybox Sports Bar.
As of January 2019, the lounge is still under construction.
The Casino Club at The Greenbrier Resort
The Casino Club at The Greenbrier Resort became the second sportsbook to open in West Virginia. On September 13 FanDuel Sportsbook opened up at the Casino Club.
The Casino Club at The Greenbrier is the only private casino in the entire United States. Only members, guests of the hotel, or patrons playing at the golf or tennis clubs are permitted entry.
While it is a small operation, the Casino Club still offers most of the same sports betting options as the rest of the casinos in the state. The small casino opened an anteroom to serve as a sports betting lounge for patrons to the exclusive resort.
Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort
Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort is the most remote located casino in West Virginia. The property is located at the northern tip of the panhandle along the state’s river border with Ohio. This location provides the opportunity of out-of-state bettors traveling over from Ohio.
Although it was the last of the casinos in West Virginia, Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort was the third to launch its sportsbook, doing so on November 21, 2018.
Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack
Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack opened its sports book on December 27, 2018. One of the smallest casinos in the state, Wheeling Island is located closer to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania more so than the center of that state, just 60 miles from the Steel City.
Wheeling Island is a sister property of the Mardi Gras Casino, which is also located in West Virginia.
Mardi Gras Casino & Resort
Mardi Grad Casino & Resort is the most centrally located casino in West Virginia. Like its sister property Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack, it is owned by Delaware North.
Mardi Gras was the last of the five casinos to open a sportsbook.
West Virginia 2018 Sports Betting Results
Since West Virginia began accepting legal sports wagers in September 2018, every month has seen an increase in handle than the previous month. West Virginia’s 2018 numbers are as follows:
- September 2018: Total Handle – $7.44 million; Total Revenue – $1.99 million; Handle % – 26.8%
- October 2018: Total Handle – $10.2 million; Total Revenue – $594,000; Handle % – 5.8%
- November 2018: Total Handle – $13.3 million; Total Revenue – $1.33 million; Handle % – 10%
- December 2018: Total Handle – $42.6 million; Total Revenue – $5.5 million; Handle % – 12.9%
- 2018 Totals: Total Handle – $73.54 million; Total Revenue – $9.414 million; Handle % – 12.8%
West Virginia ended 2018 with a 12.8% hold, which is more than twice that of what Nevada traditionally holds (around 5%).