Despite the fact that no professional sports teams call West Virginia home, interest in legal US sports betting is alive and well in the Mountain State. A fairly gambling friendly state, West Virginia provides a welcoming environment for those interested in a variety of gambling venues. The one question that seems hard for many people to answer however boils down to this: is sports betting legal in West Virginia? The legalities of sportsbook gambling in the US are complex at best, and figuring out the proper application of all relevant laws is challenging. There are legally sanctioned sports betting options available to West Virginia residents, and this guide will provide insight into the legal landscape as it relates to online and offline sports wagering in this region, as well as provide information on where to find the best USA sportsbooks that accept residents of WV and that are legitimately licensed and regulated.
Best Sports Betting Site
For West Virginia Residents
BetOnline Sportsbook is our top recommendation for West Virginia sports fans seeking a legally sanctioned, secure and high quality betting experience online. Their welcome bonus is lager than most of their competitors, and their 25% life time bonus will keep you coming back. Their selection of betting lines is substantial, and their odds and paylines are comparable with the Vegas bookmakers. They were one of the first sportsbook brands to have an online presence, and it shows.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal In West Virginia?
West Virginia’s state laws do not address sports betting. This is because there are already several federal laws in place that govern this type of entertainment throughout the country and effectively prohibit the state from offering licensed sportsbook gambling either online or offline within their borders. So no, state regulated sports wagering is not legal in West Virginia. However, residents of the Mountain State are not limited to state regulated sportsbooks and can legally place bets at licensed offshore sports betting sites that are operating legally within the industry. There are no state or federal laws that make it a crime for US bettors, including those in West Virginia, from participating in online sports wagering as long as the destination at which those bets are placed is legally licensed and subject to strict regulatory oversight. The section below goes into the details of the US federal sports betting laws and how they impact sports fans in West Virginia.
How Federal Laws Impact West Virginia
Just because gambling is considered to be legal inside of West Virginia doesn't mean that the federal government has taken a day off in their imposition of sports gambling. Since the 1960s, the federal government has really taken a stance against this type of gambling. It all started with the Federal Wire Act of 1961. This act basically makes it illegal for anyone to own or operate an online sportsbook within US borders. Simple enough in premise, but its wide reaching implications have prevented any type of US based sportsbooks from operating in West Virginia or any other state.
Then you have PASPA, which is known as the Bradley Act. Basically, this was government's back-handed way to supposedly "protect" athletes, amateurs and pros alike, by making state based sports betting an illegal activity with only 4 US states being exempted from the restrictions of this law. So this is the reason that you're not going to find any live reputable sportsbooks in West Virginia. While West Virginia can technically decriminalize gambling in their state, they cannot undercut the feds here, at least not without a bloody war or propaganda that's good for no one.
Lastly we have the UIGEA, which is a relatively new piece of legislation passed in 2006 that places regulatory oversight for gambling related transactions. The law addresses US banks and payment processors, and does not address individuals placing the bets. None of these federal laws makes it illegal for US sports fans to place bets at legally sanctioned online sportsbooks that are licensed, regulated and located outside of the US.
Places to Gamble At Inside of West Virginia
The state of West Virginia doesn't have a whole lot of casinos yet, but you have to understand that they're relatively new players on the casino scene. To date, they have seven casinos, which include some that feature primarily slots, but also some that give you table games, large poker rooms, and more. It all depends on which casino you visit while in West Virginia. And it will also depend on when you visit. For instance, in a few years you can be sure that West Virginia will have more than a few casinos to boast about. The state is busy trying to make room for more gambling, after they've found out that offering gambling is a great way to earn revenue.
Some of the casinos in West Virginia include Big Buck's Bingo in Clarksburg, which is primarily a bingo hall but also features slots. They also have the Mardi Gras Casino and Resort, which is a large establishment featuring slots, table games, entertainment, and quality rooms for patrons. Another casino located in Chester, which you might pass if you don't know where it's at because it looks like a hospital, is the Mountaineer Casino and Racetrack. However, far and away, West Virginia's biggest casino is the Hollywood Casino as the Charles Town Races. Not only does this casino feature a wide variety of racing, but you can also find slots, table games, poker tables, and much more here.
West Virginia's Collegiate Teams of Note
The state of West Virginia actually shares a lot with their neighbor Virginia in that the West also doesn't have any real professional sporting presence. What they do have, however, are two very good collegiate teams that are historically top players in their field and have given a lot to the NFL. Of course, these teams are only really popular in football. Although the Mountaineers in West Virginia have had their day in the sun in the NCAA men's collegiate tournament, it's basically all about football in West Virginia. Like Virginia, the West is all about its football and doesn't do much on other collegiate sports.
The Marshall Thundering Herd
One thing we find very cool about the Thundering Herd of Marshall is that their coach's real name, his given name, is Doc Holliday. Now, he's not out there making every C-USA team his huckleberry or anything, but it's a cool name nevertheless. In terms of actual football, Marshall hasn't really been a big contender since they had Randy Moss and Chad Pennington in the late '90s, but still they're able to make some noise in their conference. Marshall did relatively decent last year, earning a ranking of #40. Now, this is well outside of the top 25, and certainly nothing playoff worthy. But for a C-USA team, this is a pretty big accomplishment and even got Marshall a decent bowl game. Marshall isn't anywhere near the top 25 again this year, but for their conference they're a smart bet, especially if you take the straight win against a lesser opponent. It might not pay 1:1, but it's a great way to minimize your risks in betting.
The West Virginia Mountaineers
West Virginia residents have their Mountaineers, a strong D1 program, to support. This season looks to be a bit of a rebuild for them after losing C Tyler Orlosky, CB Rasul Douglas, DE Noble Nwachukwu and WR Shelton Gibson. QB Will Grier transferred from Florida and should help once he becomes eligible to play. His pairing with RB Justin Crawford will be lethal if they can sync up successfully. They are expected to be ranked in the top 25 to start the season.
Odds For The West Virginia University Mountaineers To Win The NCAAF National Title In 2018-2019 Season
West Virginians love their collegiate football teams, and we cannot tell them any differently. The best we can offer here is some advice, and that starts with betting per statistical likelihood to win the bet, never as a fan who's rooting for a team to win. If you find yourself rooting on weekends, you're doing it wrong.