West Virginia legalized sports betting in March 2018. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) two months later, Mountain State casinos became free to pursue sportsbooks. Hollywood Casino Charles Town opened the first book on Aug. 30, 2018.
Mobile Sports Betting
West Virginia is the only state besides New Jersey with full-fledged mobile sports betting. The first, and only, mobile sportsbook to open so far is BetLucky.
BetLucky is the first mobile sportsbook to launch in West Virginia. It is a product of gaming operator Delaware North, and as such, serves the Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras casinos.
BetLucky operates using a software platform designed by Miomni. It is available for both iOS and Android users inside the state lines.
BetLucky offers wagering on 8 different sports, including:
Most betting types typical at other sportsbooks are available on BetLucky. There’s nothing too fancy about the site, but it’s perfectly serviceable for almost any player.
All five of West Virginia’s casinos now have open and active sportsbooks. Hollywood Casino Charles Town opened the first book in August 2018, but all five had opened by the beginning of 2019.
Hollywood Casino Charles Town
The Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino Charles Town opened its doors for a soft launch on Aug. 30, 2018. The grand opening for the facility occurred two days later.
Hollywood Casino is the largest casino in the entire state of West Virginia. It offers more than 2,500 slot machines, ten different types of table games, and a 16-table poker room.
The sportsbook itself features a 50-foot wall of 80-inch high definition monitors and 24 odds display boards. The book offers wagering on thirteen different sports and most common betting types.
Its hours of operation are:
- Mon, Thu: 10 a.m. – 1 a.m.
- Tue – Wed: 10 a.m. – midnight
- Fri: 10 a.m. – 2 a.m.
- Sat: 8 a.m. – 2 a.m.
- Sun: 8 a.m. – 1 a.m.
The FanDuel Sportsbook at the Casino Club at Greenbrier Resort
The FanDuel Sportsbook at the Casino Club at Greenbrier Resort is the smallest and most exclusive casino in West Virginia, and perhaps the entire country. The casino is the only facility in the country not open to the public.
The sportsbook opened in mid-September 2018. It was the second to do so in the state.
The FanDuel Sportsbook is more accurately described as a lounge. However, it is quite well-appointed and has 21 high-definition televisions for patron viewing.
Please note that one must be staying at the hotel itself or be a member of the resort to access this sports betting facility. Its hours of operation are:
- Mon – Thu: 11:00 a.m. – 1 a.m.
- Fri – Sat: 11:00 – 4 a.m.
- Sun: 1 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack
Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack is located on the western edge of West Virginia. The casino itself, as its name implies, resides on an island in the Ohio River.
Wheeling Island is one of two casinos in West Virginia owned by casino operator Delaware North. It offers over 1,100 slot machines, several table games, and a poker room to its clientele.
The sportsbook features a large video wall behind the live teller stations. There is also tabletop and lounge seating.
The book accepts wagers on six different sports. Its hours of operation are:
- Mon – Thu, Sun: noon – midnight
- Fri – Sat: 10 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Mardi Gras Casino
Mardi Gras Casino is the most centrally-located casino in the state of West Virginia. However, it is not a terribly large facility, with only 900 slot machines and 30 table games available for play.
The sportsbook itself has all the necessary ingredients, though. There are several HD televisions, multiple odds display boards, and a generous live betting window.
There is also a full-service bar. Players can choose between nine different sports and most of the common betting types. The hours of operation for the sportsbook are:
- Mon – Thu: noon – 2:30 a.m.
- Fri: noon – 3 a.m.
- Sat: 10:30 – 3 a.m.
- Sun: 9:30 – 2:30 a.m.
The Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort
The Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort is the most remote of West Virginia’s five casinos. It is located on the northernmost tip of West Virginia’s northern panhandle.
As such, it tends to keep things close to the vest. So, it was quite the surprise when the Mountaineer beat the two Delaware North properties to the finish line for sports betting.
The Mountaineer went from having not applied to the state for a license to opening a sportsbook in less than a month’s time. The casino’s sportsbook opened in late November 2018.
The sportsbook features a large video wall and comfortable seating for patrons. Bettors can choose between eight different sports and six different betting types for their wagers.
Its hours of operation are:
- Mon – Thu: 10 a.m. – midnight
- Fri: 10 a.m. – 1 a.m.
- Sat: 9 a.m. – 1 a.m.
- Sun: 9 a.m. – midnight
West Virginia Sports Betting FAQ
Who can bet on sports in West Virginia?
Anyone over 21 is able to bet sports.
Can I play daily fantasy sports in West Virginia?
Yes. Almost every DFS operator is active in the state.
In 2016, the state attorney general issued an explicit statement to that effect. He declared that state law definitively does not prohibit fantasy sports contests.
What government agency will oversee West Virginia sports betting?
The West Virginia Lottery Commission is in charge of sports betting enforcement in the state.
West Virginia Sports Betting History
West Virginia may seem a rather unusual state to be at the forefront of sports betting advancement. The unassuming state is perhaps better known for its natural beauty and moonshine.
However, a committed legislative body and a feisty attorney general have pushed against the federal ban on sports betting since 2016. Attorney General Patrick Morrissey filed amicus curiae briefs in support of New Jersey’s Supreme Court case that contained some of the strongest anti-PASPA language ever submitted.
Subsequent bills from the West Virginia legislature issued direct rebukes of the federal ban. For example, a bill introduced in 2017, H 2751, contained the following passage:
§29-25A-2. Authorization of sports betting notwithstanding federal prohibition
Whereas our State Attorney General is challenging the usurpation of the federal government of state authority to regulate sports pool betting and has articulated in the briefs of the State of West Virginia in Christie v. NCAA, 16-476, U.S. Supreme Court, that the U.S. Congress has no power to prevent state governments from authorizing sports betting as a form of gaming and therefore, the Legislature finds that it is reasonable and appropriate, for the State of West Virginia to proceed with legalizing sports pool betting pursuant to this article.
Such explicit pushback is quite uncommon in state sports betting laws. However, both the legislature and AG Morrissey made it clear that PASPA was an affront to the principles of federalism and states’ rights, and therefore inappropriate under the Constitution.
In terms of a timeline for West Virginia’s steps toward legalization, most events occurred in the last 18 months.
Rep. Fluharty reintroduced his bill in January 2018. This time, state Sen. Baldwin introduced a matching bill, S 106, in the West Virginia Senate.
Both bills got stuck in committee. However, a third bill, S 415, ended up being a winner.
S 415 was a more comprehensive and detailed bill. It set the sports betting licensing fee at $100,000, and pegged the tax rate at 10 percent of revenue.
The Senate quickly passed the bill. The matching House bill (H 4396) moved out of committee.
Legislators found themselves in a brief standoff with lobbyists from the five major sports leagues. The leagues wanted the bill to include several concessions, most notably a 1 percent fee on handle that would be paid to the leagues.
This fee became known as an integrity fee. However, West Virginia’s legislature was unimpressed, and the Senate bill passed to Gov. Jim Justice’s desk.
Justice chose not to sign the bill. However, he did allow it to become law. So, officially from Mar. 3, 2018, West Virginia was a sports betting state.
In March, Rep. Shawn Fluharty introduced the aforementioned H 2751. The introduction was the first time the subject of sports betting had appeared in the legislative agenda.
The bill established the West Virginia Lottery Commission as the oversight agency for sports betting in the state. H 2751 also provided for a two percent tax on sports betting handle.
The bill ultimately failed in committee. However, H 2751 planted the seed of curiosity in the mind of legislators.
In September, the state lottery commissioned a $160,000 study on the effect of legalizing sports betting in the state. That report estimated that 30 states would have legal sports betting by 2023, including West Virginia.
By then, it was clear which way the wind was blowing, even without a ruling from the Supreme Court.