West Virginia Sports Betting Boosted By FanDuel Partnership
West Virginia has passed one of the more robust sports betting laws in the country. Now it’s taking another major step forward with a high-profile partnership between two gambling industry titans.
Pro Football Talk reports online daily fantasy site FanDuel has partnered with the iconic Greenbriar Resort to provide online wagering options. The agreement unites one of the most well-known gaming sites with the Mountain State’s best-known resort and casino.
Unlike several other early adopters of legalized sports betting, West Virginia has opened up its wagering options to remote, online users. One caveat in state law is that online providers need to have a physical presence in the state. This agreement fulfills that requirement.
It took some time, but West Virginia legislators and the state’s lottery administration, which will oversee sports betting, came up with one of the more favorable environments for wagering. Now bettors are expected to place their first bet by Sep. 1, just in time for the NFL and college football seasons.
Agreement Caps Favorable Sports Betting Environment
The Greenbriar was actually a cause in the delay.
The bill still required the governor’s action, but Gov. Jim Justice is the owner of the Greenbriar, which would obviously benefit from sports betting. To avoid conflicts of interest, Justice let the bill go into law without his signature.
There was worry from some industry observers that heavy lobbying from professional sports leagues seeking an “integrity fee” could influence the governor, but ultimately it was finalized without one.
West Virginia has been one of the more progressive jurisdictions in the nation about gambling with five casinos spread across the Mountain State. Both the state House of Delegates and Senate easily passed sports betting legislation earlier this year.
With the final details resolved, bettors will now be able to place their bets at the Greenbriar in White Sulphur Springs as well as the state’s other four casinos:
- Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack
- Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort in New Cumberland
- The Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in Ranson
- The Mardi Gras Casino & Resort near Charleston.
West Virginia bettors won’t be restricted to these physical properties, as any adult over age 20 in the state will be allowed to place bets from approved mobile apps when they are within the state borders. This will be much more expansive than Delaware and Mississippi, which doesn't allow online betting outside its respective casinos.
West Virginia Among Early Adopters
The Mountain State will also get a head start on all of its neighbors. Neighboring Pennsylvania already passed sports betting, but has struggled attracting operating partners due to $10 million initial licenses fees and more-than 30% taxes on all revenues.
Another neighbor in Kentucky has filled sports betting legislation, but that likely won’t be discussed until 2019 at the earliest and also currently calls for fees that could deter gambling providers. Meanwhile Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland and Ohio have all been much slower to pick up sports betting legislation.
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