West Virginia Launches Sports Betting

West Virginia is the latest US state to have legalised sports betting, which officially kicked-off on Saturday, September 1.

This way, the Mountain State joined a number of states that legalised wagering on sports since the US Supreme Court overturned the controversial PASPA back in May.

New Jersey, Delaware, and Rhode Island were the first to exercise the newly-given right to determine themselves whether to allow sports betting or not. Mississippi soon followed, and now West Virginia joins this club as the fifth state to launch following the court’s ruling.

An Important Move

West Virginia was actually the first state to make sports betting legal since the Lottery Sports Wagering Act received the green light two months before the US Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, thus ending the 25-year long federal ban on sports betting.

However, the other four states were already well-prepared for such a move.

The Mountain State is accepting sports bets

The official launch ceremony was held at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in Jefferson County, coinciding with the start of the new NFL season, although it should be mentioned the property launched a couple of days ahead of schedule, with the first bets taken on August 30.

The first wager was made by Delegate Jason Barrett, who placed a $50 bet on the West Virginia Mountaineers to win the national championship this season. If they manage to do so, Barrett can expect a winning of $350.

Commenting on this important move, Barrett said the lawmakers had done it right in this state, and added that other needed to look at what had been done and model after West Virginia.

According to West Virginia MetroNews website, legislative estimates predict the legalisation of sports betting will bring additional $5.5 million to state coffers in the first year alone, while the predictions of the West Virginia Lottery Commission go even higher, projecting revenue of somewhere between $9 million and $17 million.

Five Venus So Far

So far, the state has issued licenses to five casinos that will offer sports betting to customers in West Virginia, charging a total of $100,000 in licensing fees. The casinos will also have to pay a 10% tax on their gross receipts.

Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in Jefferson County is the first gambling venue in West Virginia to receive the license to offer sports betting to customers in the Mountain State.

The casino’s sportsbook is powered by William Hill, who will also support another casino in West Virginia. The renowned operator has already partnered with 11 casinos in Mississippi and is currently negotiating with operators in other US states.

Other venues will soon be ready to offer sports betting, although Hollywood Casino was the only one fully operational by the time the new NFL season kicked-off on September 6.

According to a media report, the casino in Greenbrier will probably be the next casino to offer sports betting, while Delaware North properties in Nitro and Wheeling to be the next, along with Mountaineer Racetrack and Casino in Chester. The information says these facilities could be up and running by the end of October.