Since a positive opinion from the state’s attorney general in 2016, daily fantasy sports have been de facto legal in West Virginia. While other states remain mired in legal uncertainty or have outright banned daily fantasy sports, the Mountain State has extended its liberal attitude to gambling and effectively legalized it. The attorney general’s decision was based on the opinion that daily fantasy sports are not predominantly games of chance, and therefore should not be covered by laws prohibiting illegal gambling. Following this decision, all major operators are active in the state.
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Online Daily Fantasy Sports in West Virginia – Overview
In most states, the legal status of daily fantasy sports is determined by whether they are designated games of skill, and therefore legal, or games of chance, and thus considered illegal gambling. In concluding that the outcomes of daily fantasy sports are not wholly or predominantly determined by chance, West Virginia’s attorney general opened the door for their legalization and both operators and players in the Mountain State appear to have proceeded on that basis. In the absence of legislation, a state attorney general’s opinion is key to daily fantasy sports’ de facto legal status, but there remains some legal uncertainty in West Virginia. This will not be fully resolved until the state legislature passes a law that conclusively legalizes daily fantasy sports. However, for all intents and purposes, daily fantasy sports is legal in the state and, given the attorney general’s opinion and the presence of all major operators in the state, it is difficult to see West Virginia moving to ban it anytime soon. Participants in the Mountain State should take full advantage and sign up today. Plus, you can check our page about West Virginia gambling. Here is a list of daily fantasy sports available in West Virginia:
Online Daily Fantasy NFL – a new draft, every week
While West Virginia does not have an NFL team of their own, this state is in the heart of football country with many residents rooting for the historic Pittsburgh Steelers in neighboring Pennsylvania. It should come as little surprise that daily fantasy NFL is also a big deal in the Mountain State. Game formats vary between different operators so whether you prefer to pick a defense/special teams or a flex offensive player, make sure you find the site that works for you.
Online Daily Fantasy NHL – for when the puck is too hard to follow
West Virginia may not be widely known for its ice hockey, but as one of the most outdoorsy states, there’s a niche for all sports fans and hockey enthusiasts can follow the minor league Wheeling Nailers. When the weather is too warm to head to the rink, West Virginians can play daily NHL fantasy almost anywhere. With 82 games in the season, the season-long format puts a lot of pressure on your initial draft so it’s reassuring to have the opportunity to start over every gameday.
Online Daily Fantasy NBA – pick your dream team and watch them take it to the net
Basketball is huge all over the country, and West Virginia is no exception. Although there is no hometown team to root for, West Virginians are avid followers of the NBA with its many twists, turns, heroes and villains and NBA fantasy is similarly popular in the Mountain State. In such a high-scoring sport, it can be a little tricky to see behind the box score and identify who’s carrying the team and who’s bringing up the tail.
Online Daily Fantasy MLB – pick the perfect lineup and swing for the fences
The Mountain State is home to several minor league baseball teams as West Virginians are always eager to enjoy America’s Pastime during the long summer months. With its plethora of statistics and 162-game long season, MLB daily fantasy is perfect for more cerebral fantasy fans with a talent for problem-solving. As there are games almost every day of the season, you do not want to be stuck with the team you picked in April and there are always great value picks to be found.
College Fantasy Sport – for nothing but love of the game
What West Virginia lacks in pro teams, it makes up for in high-flying college teams with two NCAA Division I colleges, West Virginia and Marshall. The West Virginia Mountaineers boast impressive football and basketball teams. The Milan Puskar Stadium can hold up to 60,000 fans and has hosted some famous Mountaineer victories in football. Not to be outdone, the basketball team, which plays at the 14,000 capacity WVU Coliseum, has not had a losing season since 2002. The Marshall Thundering Herd also have a highly decorated football program, with 2 national championships, 13 conference titles and 8 division titles to their name. The basketball team is also no slouch and has a number of alumni in the NBA. Given the passionate support these college teams enjoy in-state, it’s safe to say that college daily fantasy sport has a lot of potential in West Virginia.
Timeline of Daily Fantasy Sports Legislation
West Virginia’ attorney general’s 2016 decision to declare daily fantasy sports to be predominantly determined by skill was a big boon for the industry. The attorney general Patrick Morrissey was responding to a request from West Virginia’s senate president, on account of a bill to legalize daily fantasy sports in the state legislature. This bill was ultimately unsuccessful, but the attorney general’s opinion has effectively legalized daily fantasy sports in the Mountain State. There is still no legislation in place but, given the state’s liberal attitude to gambling, its legalization is likely a matter of “when” rather than “if”.
|2019||The state legislature approves a bill to allow poker and mobile casino gaming.|
|2017||Legislators attempt to legalize online gambling but are ultimately unsuccessful.|
|2016||The West Virginia Attorney General, Patrick Morrissey, issues opinion that daily fantasy sports are not predominantly games of chance and thereby opens the door for their official legalization.|
|2016||State representatives prepare legislation to legalize daily fantasy sports in West Virginia. This passes the senate but is not taken up by the house of delegates and so does not enter into state law.|
|2006||The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 devolves the legal status of daily fantasy sports to the state level and their designation as either games of chance or games of skill.|
Legal Daily Fantasy Betting Age in West Virginia
The minimum age to play daily fantasy sports in West Virginia is the same as the state gambling age, which is 21 years old. The penalties for engaging in illegal gambling are fairly light and generally consist of a fine between $5 and $100. The punishments for running an illegal gambling enterprise are considerably more severe and can lead to up to 12 months’ imprisonment. Similarly, when it comes to underage gambling, the harsher penalties are usually meted out to the establishments that fail to keep out patrons under 21, rather than the underage gamblers themselves.
DFS Betting Age
Is Daily Fantasy Betting Legal Outside of the State?
West Virginia is one of many states where the legality (or illegality) of daily fantasy sports has been determined by a positive or negative opinion from the state attorney general. In Hawaii, for example, all major operators left the state after the attorney general issued a 2016 opinion in which daily fantasy sports was deemed to be illegal gambling. The attorney general in Kansas, on the other hand, issued a positive opinion in 2015, which directly led to its official legalization later that year. An attorney general’s opinion, however, does not change the law by itself and several states have a somewhat confusing legal situation. In Illinois for example, all major operators continue to accept players despite a negative opinion from the state attorney general. Texas has a similar situation. While there does not appear to be any personal legal risk from playing daily fantasy sports in such states, the lack of clarity makes for a somewhat precarious state of affairs, which could change at any moment with new legislation.
The Best Fantasy Sports App in West Virginia
While there is little to choose between Fanduel and Draft Kings when it comes to gameplay and competitions (though Draft Kings does offer a wider variety of sports), the former is widely agreed to have the superior mobile app. Given the regularity of drafts, using an app ensures you don’t miss anything and it has never been easier to use. Fanduel is perfect for fantasy newcomers as its interface is extremely user-friendly, but it is also very popular among daily fantasy veterans. However, if NASCAR, MMA and eSports is your thing, make sure you also have Draft Kings downloaded on your mobile device.
Taxes on Daily Fantasy Winnings: Legal Overview
Gambling winnings are not generally taxable in West Virginia, but daily fantasy sports players who earn a net profit of over $600 (after deducting deposits and entry fees) must report these winnings to the IRS as taxable income. If you are considered to play daily fantasy sports as a business – regularly and with the intention of earning income – you have additional flexibility and may deduct your losses from other income. Based on available information, there is no state-specific requirements for daily fantasy winnings in West Virginia.
Upcoming Regulation Changes to Be Aware Of
Despite the de facto legality of daily fantasy sports in West Virginia, the next logical step would be for the state legislature to enshrine this status in law, following the example of numerous other states. There is no such bill pending, but the apparent lack of urgency strongly suggests that legislators do not see a threat to the status quo, where daily fantasy sports are 100% legal for all intents and purpose. The legalization of online poker and casinos in 2019 is indicative of the receptive political environment in the Mountain State, as it is only the fifth state to do so. Given the state’s historically liberal attitude to gambling, the attorney general’s 2016 opinion and the increasingly positive attitude towards daily fantasy sports nationwide, it would be surprising to not see its official legalization in West Virginia in the next few years.