West Virginia Sports Betting
West Virginia was the fifth state to get on board with legalizing sports betting, having the activity legalized as soon as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA) was overturned in 2018. The regulation of sports betting, for the time being, rests with the West Virginia Lottery Commission, which is currently working out the kinks in the system for how to properly run online sports betting.
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- West Virginia Lottery Commission
- Charlston Gazette-Mail
- The Register-Herald
Gambling Laws in West Virginia
The gambling legislation for players in West Virginia are some of the more open regulations than many other states. In fact, only states like Nevada that have legalized online casino gambling are ahead of West Virginia in a major way. The state has legal ways of playing and participating in most every type of gambling, whether it is a land-based casino, greyhound racing, or online activities like sports betting and daily fantasy. As sports betting was only recently added to the state’s portfolio of legal gambling activities, the state is still working through the small details. This means that for the time being, there are no expected changes to the laws. However, lawmakers have been quoted as saying the conversation will definitely be reignited in the future.
West Virginia Daily Fantasy Sports
West Virginia has allowed its residents to play daily fantasy sports since 2016, when it officially legalized the activity. The lawmakers decided that the game is more skill-based than it is chance-based, and therefore there are no reasons why online daily fantasy sports should be banned. The best places to play online daily fantasy sports in West Virginia are:
West Virginia Casino
At this stage, online casinos in West Virginia are illegal. There is hard and fast legislation banning it, which the state last attempted to change in late 2017. The bill didn’t make it to legislature, though, and has been put on hold for the time being while the state figures out the ins and outs to its newly legalized sports betting operations. For those in the state who really want a game of blackjack or roulette, there are four land-based racinos in the state that offer casino games and some video lottery (slots) options.
West Virginia Poker
Online poker in West Virginia is much in the same stead as the online casinos: currently illegal. There are no legal poker playing websites that are available for West Virginians to access, so those wishing to play the game will need to visit one of the racinos in the state instead. There are no movements currently on the table to change the laws surrounding poker, though experts think it likely to be lumped in with online casinos when those are proposed.
West Virginia Lottery
The lottery has been active in West Virginia since 1986 and is the state’s largest source of problem gambling services funds. It is open to all people in West Virginia who are over the age of 18, and includes such games as Powerball, Mega Millions and Lotto America, as well as some Keno games. Players must purchase tickets in a retail outlet, as online sales of lottery tickets are forbidden.
History of Gambling in West Virginia
West Virginia is largely in favor of gambling in many forms, starting with wagers on greyhound and horse racing dating all the way back to 1931. After that, there was a bit of a long wait for the next flurry of legalization, which saw the lottery incepted in 1986. Most every milestone in the history of gambling in West Virginia has been to expand the state’s offering to include more types of gambling, except for the failed bill to legalize online casinos in 2017. This could be the next thing to change.
|1931||The state’s pari-mutuel wagering regulator, the West Virginia Racing Commission, is established.|
|1986||The West Virginia Lottery is legalized|
|1994||The installation and operation of video lottery (slots) terminals is legalized for race tracks, then later, bars.|
|2007||The addition of table game legislation allows the four main racinos to offer more casino games.|
|2016||Daily Fantasy Sports are legalized.|
|2017||A bill to legalize online gambling is pushed, but fails|
|2018||Online Sports betting is legalized immediately after the federal ban is overturned.|
West Virginia State Facts
The Mountain State may not have the largest population, but it does have a lot of other things going for it – particularly if you like the outdoors. One of the most scenic states in the country, its land is 75% covered in trees, and has some of the best caving around. Of course, if you’re not one for nature, you can always have some entertainment with the state’s gambling outlets, with lots of racinos to visit. However, if even that is too much for you, you can always stay home to place your sports bets or enjoy some daily fantasy sports.
|Biggest Offline Gambling Location||Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races|
|Gambling Commissioner||the West Virginia Lottery Commission|
|Biggest Local Sports Team||West Virginia Mountaineers|
|West Virginia Tax Authority||West Virginia State Tax Department|
|Link to the State Law||State Law|
|Gambling Winning Tax||Federal 25% tax only|
|State Website Link||https://www.wv.gov|
|Famous Local Gamblers||Jason Koon|
Gambling Age in West Virginia
Much in line with the other states that offer various forms of legal gambling, there are different minimum ages depending on the type of activity being undertaken. In West Virginia, players must be over 18 to participate in the lottery or bingo, or to make pari-mutuel wagers on horse or greyhound races. However, one must be over 21 to place sports bets or play daily fantasy sports.
Online Gambling Age:
Responsible Gambling and Addiction Prevention
The Problem Gamblers Help Network of West Virginia is a service provider that is funded by the First Choice Health Systems. First Choice, in turn, receives its funds from the West Virginia Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities (BBHHF). The Help Network offers a 24-hour problem gambling helpline, which connects sufferers to certified counselors. There are also face to face assessment options and treatment services, plus funded support groups. Many of the services are also available in Spanish.
Upcoming Regulation and Expected Changes
West Virginia is one of the most liberal states when it comes to online gambling, having legalized daily fantasy sports activities in 2016 and sports betting as soon as the PAPSA regulation was overturned in 2018. The state will next work towards allowing online casino gambling, though a recent bill which was introduced in 2017, ultimately failed. At the time of writing, there are no current movements to pick up the issue in the near future, though it is certainly going to be viewed again in the future. Currently, the notion is on hold until the WV Lottery Commission can properly understand and regulate the recently introduced sports betting operations in the state.