Back in 2018, the state of West Virginia was changed forever, when sports betting was officially approved. The market has been a little slower on the uptake than other states, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty of information for you to discover!
Legal Sports Betting Sites in West Virginia – Our pick of the best
Live online betting sites
- BetMGM Sportsbook
As you have no doubt noticed in the introduction above, it’s a bit of an exclusive group to have an online sportsbook in West Virginia. There are just three operational sportsbooks right now, of course, with BetMGM being one of them. There’s an attractive welcome offer for this site, with a potential $500 bet to use completely free, but there’s more than just that.
They actually have quite an extensive casino catalog as well as a dedicated poker section, but the sportsbook does steal the show. They cover all of the top USA leagues including NHL, NBA, MBL, and even MLS, and they are regularly serving up options to lock in higher odds than usual. They really do treat their members well, which is why they have already established such a promising member base.
- DraftKings Sportsbook
DraftKings is one of the platforms that has been making the biggest push for expansion across all of the legal betting states. They’ve established a sportsbook in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and now West Virginia. What started out as just a fantasy sports contest site is now well on its way to taking the entire nation by storm, and there are thousands of players out there who are more than happy to join them for the ride.
Besides the $500 welcome bonus that they have to offer new players, they have a sportsbook that is both visually appealing as well as value-giving. This means they have great odds, and they also offer one of the best selections of live-betting markets that we’ve seen. There are even rumors that they will be partnering up with multiple broadcasting agencies to supply live streaming in the near future, so it’s truly an exciting platform to be a part of.
- FanDuel Sportsbook
FanDuel has almost 15 sports available in their sportsbook catalog, which puts them in the average range really in terms of total offerings. Where they do excel is the value that they give to members through reload offers as well as their sporting odds. It’s also a particularly pleasant platform to use given how well it has been developed, and the mobile app is also straight out of the top-drawer.
Much like DraftKings before them, FanDuel also has fantasy sports contests, but they also have a decent casino selection too. As an interesting fact, FanDuel is actually the number one sportsbook in the nation right now in terms of the volume of bets that they receive – so it’s fair to say that they are doing something right!
While there has been no official announcement as of yet, there are strong suspicions that William Hill could be entering the West Virginia market before we know it. The quality that this brand represents almost goes without saying, and if they did release a sportsbook soon, we feel that they would rapidly climb the ladder in terms of popularity.
One of the main reasons that we believe we will see a William Hill sportsbook soon is due to their partnership with a casino in West Virginia. Right now, they have a professional partnership with Mountaineer Casino, which we feel could greatly accelerate their path to market in West Virginia. We will all be keeping our eyes and ears open over the coming months concerning this, but there are certainly positive signs!
Many sports bettors in West Virginia have probably never heard of Pointsbet, as they originated at the other side of the world in Australia. Pointsbet already operates in New Jersey, and their unique sports betting angle is proving to be quite appealing for their members. They tend to focus on supplying spread betting markets for sporting events, as opposed to the other traditional bets you might find.
Their platform is actually awesome looking in New Jersey, so they clearly know how to build a site that offers top quality services. While the director of Pointsbet has publicly stated that they intend to launch in West Virginia as soon as they can, there’s still plenty of red-tape to get through, which makes it tough to give a specific launch date.
There could well be more than just these two sportsbooks who are planning an expansion into West Virginia, however, these two have been the most vocal and most public about their intentions. This is why we have focussed on these two platforms, although who knows, there could be further press releases over the coming weeks to announce more exciting expansions!
Unfortunately, that is the thing with planned expansions. A sportsbook could have all of the money and all of the best features in the world in a different state, but they still have to go through the process like anyone else. As sports bettors, we could get angry or frustrated about this (as some people do), but at the end of the day, this process takes a while to ensure safety and trust for both sportsbooks and players alike.
WV casinos where I can bet on sports
West Virginia is no stranger to casino and sports betting, although they may not have the exotic locations like Vegas or Atlantic City to brag about. That being said, there are several physical casinos where sports betting can be done in 2020. These locations include Hollywood Casino, The Greenbrier, Wheeling Island, Mardi Gras Casino, and Mountaineer Casino (the partner of William Hill).
When you go to these physical sportsbooks you will still need to be 21 years of age to make any sports bets, and of course, you’ll need to travel there as opposed to just making a bet from your mobile or desktop. When you do visit any of these locations you must have the cash to place your bets, unless you have any sort of loyalty/payment card registered with the casino.
We think that the number of sportsbooks found at physical casinos will increase over the coming months/years, however, with the way that the industry is changing, we’d think that the increase in online sportsbooks will be far greater.
Legal Sports betting in West Virginia: 2018 launch
August 30th, 2018 – what a heroic day for sports bettors located in West Virginia. This was the day that Hollywood Casino took the very first sports bet in the state, after months of turmoil trying to get the sports betting bill passed. There had actually been a sports betting initiative put forth to the government back in 2017, but this was unsuccessful. Then, thanks to the persistence of several authorities sports betting finally received the nod in 2018.
This approval didn’t come without conditions however, as has been the case across numerous other states. Leagues such as the NBA and MLB demanded a set fee of 1% of all wagers contributed to their league, in order to maintain the integrity of the professional play. On top of that, there is a set $100,000 licensing fee along with renewal, and the tax rate was set at 10% for all sports betting operators.
Interestingly, while Hollywood Casino took the first physical sports bet in August of 2018, it wasn’t until December of that year that the first online sports bets started to occur. Even more, interestingly, sports betting came to a complete standstill in West Virginia for 6 months of 2019, but it has since resumed and it would appear stronger than ever.
Clearly the state has had quite a battle to get sports betting up and running, as well as being available to the masses, but now it would seem that the worst of the turbulence has passed. We hope that things remain this way, as West Virginia is still a market that has been relatively untouched from providers.
What are the sports betting laws for West Virginia State?
Although sports betting has now been made fully legal both online and offline in West Virginia, there are still certain laws that both sports bettors and sportsbook providers must follow. We have constructed a list of the most important laws right here, so please take the time to familiarise yourself with them!
- Location and age
This is a law that we’ve seen time and time again with other states where sports betting is now legal. Basically, you must be at least 21 years of age to open a sports betting account, and you absolutely have to be based within West Virginia borders when you actually place your bet. This is detectable thanks to geolocation software too, so there is no getting around this law.
- 10% tax rate
Gambling revenues in West Virginia have been set at 10% tax, which is more or less the middle of the range compared to what we’ve seen with other states. After all, the government isn’t going to allow such a new and potentially huge industry to get away with 0% tax! As much as the online sportsbook providers would like this to be the case, this is the figure and it won’t be changing any time soon.
- Restrictions on high school betting
This law didn’t really come as a surprise, as high school betting poses numerous safeguarding issues concerning sports betting. To begin with, the players who take part in high school competition are obviously minors. On top of that, there are not too many legislations in place to monitor high school sports and ensure that the integrity of the leagues and competitions are up to scratch.
We don’t anticipate that the regulations concerning high school sport will be relaxed in the near future, so you can be fairly sure that this law is here to stay.
- Licensing fee
Right now, any provider that wishes to launch an online sportsbook must pay a start-up fee of $100,000, and then this fee must be paid on an annual basis after the site has been approved by the relevant governing authority. This fee is actually significantly less than what we’ve seen in other states, which makes the path to market much easier and much less expensive.
This is just one of many reasons that we would anticipate a surge in online sportsbooks emerging throughout 2020. There’s another stipulation of this law that will give spots bettors confidence too – the sportsbook must keep cash reserves of more than $500,000 to ensure that they can cover any and all liabilities. This means that you don’t need to worry about winning a large bet only to find out that the business can’t afford to pay you.
- Limit on number of sites
Each of the online sportsbooks that you will see entering the market in 2020 are usually partnered up with some physical casino from within West Virginia. Unlike other states, there is a limit to how many sites each of the various casinos can own. As it currently stands, a physical casino cannot be affiliated with more than 3 different sportsbooks, which is quite fair.
There are other states that have reduced this limit to just 1 sportsbook per casino, which of course, reduces the total variety of sites that you would expect to find.
More about WV online betting
What leagues are offered for legal sports betting?
All three sportsbooks that are currently in operation in West Virginia have a strong focus on USA leagues, with leagues such as the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB all being covered in quite considerable depth. Of course, the range of betting markets will vary between these three sportsbooks, but we can say with confidence that they tend to cover most of the games that are played in these leagues.
As an added bonus, betting on college sports is also legal in West Virginia, although the sports are typically focussed around football and basketball.
Which sports bets are not permitted?
West Virginia has prohibited any form of betting on high school sporting events, which isn’t uncommon at all. There is also an interesting policy that is currently in the works – whereby esports and special markets such as politics would also become legalized. At the time of writing this bill has not received approval, but who knows, these markets could well be listed within sportsbooks in just a few month’s time.
Of course, we can’t say with certainty whether these markets will materialize or not as it depends on so many factors, but things are looking good for it right now.
What are the main bet types?
There aren’t any specific bets that are off the table for West Virginia sportsbooks, which means that as a sports bettor on any site you will be able to wager on a bunch of different markets. Some of the major bets that you’ll be able to make include parlay betting, moneyline, over/under, tournament outright, spread betting and even live betting for select events.
How to register at an online bookie
You can usually sign up for any of the online sportsbooks via the desktop site, or if there is a mobile app available, you can register this way too. There are always a few steps that require you to provide certain information to create an account. This includes personal details such as age, gender, date of birth, and full name. You will usually be asked to provide further information too however including contact number, social security number, and West Virginia residential address.
We would recommend that you double-check what information you have entered before completing your registration, as the site will usually verify your information after you’ve entered it. If you’ve entered anything incorrectly, the verification may not go through which can lead to delays in operating your account.
Placing a wager in a casino
Out of the three sportsbooks that are currently operational in West Virginia, all of them actually have some form of casino offering on their platform. To make a bet in the casino section, you’ll need to transfer the funds from your sportsbook account to the casino account, and then you’ll be able to place your bet. There aren’t any restrictions at all for what casino games you can play, and with these three you can enjoy video slots, card games, and table games.
There are also several physical casinos in West Virginia, where you can go and place a casino bet in person. Of course, you must then make your way to the casino to place any casino bets, and then exchange some of your cash for chips. This can be done at the cashier, and just like the online betting sites, you must be 21 to do this.
How to bet on mobile/online
There are two main platforms you can use to place any sports/casino bets on your mobile device. You can download a mobile app if it is available, or failing that, you must open up the mobile site to place your bets. Whichever platform you choose, you will still need to log in to your account and ensure that there are sufficient funds in there to place whatever bet you are trying to make.
Out of the two platforms, we would advise that you use the mobile app where possible. This is because the usability and loading speeds are typically far more preferable on a mobile app compared to a mobile site.
West Virginia sports betting FAQ
Will I be asked to download any software to use online sportsbooks?
No, usually not. The days of needing to download rather large software files are a thing of the past thanks to modern-day sites having all of this built-in. Sites are usually put together using HTML5 these days, so most elements and features of a site have been integrated without the need for external software downloads.
Can I see if a site is legal in any way?
Of course – when you visit an online sportsbook in West Virginia, the legal and reputable ones will display a license number alongside the issuing body somewhere on their site. In West Virginia, it is the WV Lottery Commission who is currently responsible for issuing betting licenses.
Alternatively, you can always visit their site directly and type in whatever sportsbook you are considering using. You will usually find details for every single site by doing this, so it’s worth investigating if you are uncertain for whatever reason.
How long will it take for a winning bet to show up in my account?
Winning sports bets should usually appear in your account within minutes of the event concluding. This means that whatever your profit is, along with your original stake will be returned back to your account. There should also be a record of each and every bet that you place on the site, which can usually be seen through your own account.
Is it fairly easy to get assistance with my account if I experience issues?
Yes – all three sportsbooks that are currently up and running in West Virginia have a dedicated customer support team, and they are available for contact through several different methods. There should be an email support link that you can use if you’d prefer to reach them this way, and there should also be a contact number on the site. This contact number should be available to use free of charge as well, but double-check this!
Our preferred method of contacting any support team is through live chat, however, which is a very common support method these days. By using live chat widgets you can be chatting with an agent within seconds, and they are usually very good at replying quickly as well as dealing with a range of questions.