West Virginia became the fifth state to offer legal sports betting to its inhabitants in 2018. Hollywood Casino Charles Town, the largest casino in the Mountain State, soft-opened its sportsbook to the general public and began receiving wagers.
In doing so, West Virginia became the fourth state to offer sports betting after the demise of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). The other states that have sports betting (besides Nevada) are New Jersey, Delaware, and Mississippi.
West Virginia Sports Betting Current Status
West Virginia has five casinos inside state lines. Of those five, only two have a functioning sportsbook at this time.
However, West Virginia lottery officials have gone on record that they believe all five will have sports betting operational by the end of 2018. So, here’s how the five properties are coming along:
Hollywood Casino Charles Town
Hollywood Casino Charles Town soft-launched its sportsbook on Aug. 30, 2018 at 11 a.m. EST. With that, the largest West Virginia casino ushered the state into its own sports betting era.
The official launch for the book will occur on Sep. 1. Former NFL player and current commentator Joe Theismann will be on hand as part of the celebration.
Hollywood partnered with European sportsbook giant William Hill to go live with sports betting. The sportsbook offers the following betting types to customers:
- Straight bets
- In-play (In-game)
You can bet on both professional and collegiate sporting events. There are wagers available on these sports:
- Auto racing
- Mixed martial arts
The Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino Charles Town features 24 odds-display screens. There is also 50 feet of wall space filled with 80-inch televisions that project the various sporting events.
At this time, there are no individual carrels available. However, the book is still under some construction, and both carrels and lounge seating should show up soon.
The Casino Club at The Greenbrier Resort
While Hollywood Casino is the only open sportsbook, we can only speculate about which property will open next. However, The Casino Club at The Greenbrier seems like the most likely.
The Casino Club at The Greenbrier is the only private casino in the United States. Entry is only permitted for guests of the hotel, members of the club, or patrons playing at the golf or tennis clubs.
Therefore, gathering information about the casino’s activities is a more difficult proposition than most properties. So, there’s no report about construction or any kind of preparations going on.
However, we do know about a couple of moves that the Greenbrier has made. First, it partnered with DFS/sportsbook operator FanDuel specifically for sports betting.
Second, FanDuel received a license to operate a sportsbook in West Virginia a few weeks ago. So, the only thing holding the Greenbrier back at this point is logistics, rather than regulations.
As is the case with the property, sports betting will likely just appear one day. Given the lottery commission’s timeframe, that day is coming quite soon.
Mardi Gras Casino & Resort
Mardi Gras Casino & Resort is one of two casinos in West Virginia owned by gaming operator Delaware North. The casino is the most centrally-located property in the entire state.
The exact date for Mardi Gras’s entry into sports betting is unclear at this time – the best estimate is late September 2018. However, there are several signs that things are progressing.
The first sign is perhaps the most obvious. There have been reports about construction onsite since July 2018, even before Hollywood Casino had broken ground on its facility.
The other sign is that both Mardi Gras and its sister property, Wheeling Island, applied for and received their permits to operate in West Virginia already. So, much like the Greenbrier, the hold-up is likely logistical rather than regulatory, but opening day could occur at any time.
Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack
Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack is another smallish casino in West Virginia. Both it and its sister property, Mardi Gras Casino, have roughly 1,000 slot machines and 30 table games.
Unlike its companion property, Wheeling Island is not located centrally in the state. In fact, the property is best accessed from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which is roughly 60 miles northeast.
Wheeling Island is certainly preparing to offer sports betting to its patrons soon. It secured a permit to offer sports wagering from the state in August 2018.
However, that’s the last thing that anyone heard about it. Hopefully, there will be more information soon.
Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort
Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort is the most isolated casino in West Virginia, at least from the rest of the state. The property is located at the very tip of the northern panhandle, along the state’s river border with Ohio.
In the same spirit, news about the casino’s progress on sports betting has been similarly isolated. The only report is that casino management is talking with potential strategic partners about a possible deal.
There are no reports of forward motion in the casino itself. At this point, the casino does not even appear to have an approved license.
However, the only constants in a post-PASPA environment so far are change and speed. So, things could rapidly turn for Mountaineer.
Sports Betting FAQ
Is sports betting legal in West Virginia?
Yes. Hollywood Casino Charles Town became the first location to receive wagers in the state on August 30, 2018.
Where can I place sports bets in West Virginia?
At this point, Hollywood Casino Charles Town. No other locations are open for business yet.
Sports gambling will be available in the state’s five casinos. The following facilities will be permitted to accept wagers on site:
- The Casino Club at The Greenbrier
- Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
- Mardi Gras Casino and Resort Cross Lanes
- Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort
- Wheeling Island Hotel
Will I be able to bet sports online in West Virginia?
Yes – eventually. West Virginia state law allows for licenseholders to offer sports betting in both land-based and electronic settings.
The logistics of bringing an online sportsbook to the market are a bit more complicated. So far, the only casinos with a partner that could facilitate such a move are Hollywood Casino Charles Town (William Hill) and The Casino Club at Greenbrier (FanDuel).
How old do I have to be to bet in West Virginia?
Patrons must be at least 21 years old to gamble in West Virginia.
Which West Virginia teams can I bet on?
There are no professional sports teams in the state, but West Virginia will allow residents to place bets on collegiate athletics at in-state schools, such as West Virginia University and Marshall.
Who will oversee West Virginia sports betting?
The West Virginia Lottery Commission (WVLC) will regulate and oversee the sports betting industry.