West Virginia has become the fifth state to legalize sports betting since the Supreme Court repealed PASPA in May. Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races kicked off the state’s industry this past Saturday, the first weekend of college football season. The casino took in approximately $340,000 in bets.
While the grand opening of Hollywood Casino’s sportsbook took place on Saturday, a soft opening took place a bit earlier, on Thursday. It took two days for bets to reach six figures.
How did West Virginia implement sports betting so quickly after PASPA's repeal? State lawmakers had passed the West Virginia Lottery Sports Wagering Actin March in anticipation of a positive Supreme Court ruling; by having the legislation already in place, Hollywood Casino was able to launch sports betting just in time for college football season.
State Sen. Craig Blair commented, “We passed this legislation before the Supreme Court even ruled. We moved by the speed of light.”
What’s Up Next for West Virginia Sports Betting?
While this Saturday saw the launch of sports betting at Hollywood Casino, West Virginia’s four other casinos also plan on launching sports betting in the fall. The state is also looking into launching online and mobile sports betting, following in the footsteps of New Jersey and Nevada.
Additionally, daily fantasy sports companies FanDuel and DraftKings have both received interim licenses to offer sports betting. FanDuel has teamed up with the Greenbrier while DraftKings is still searching for a partner.
Other States Poised to Pass Sports Betting Legislation
Currently, New Jersey, Delaware, Nevada, Mississippi, and now West Virginia, offer legal sports betting. But many other states are seriously considering it, namely, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is currently accepting applications from operators who wish to offer sports betting, while Rhode Island has a projected launch in November 2018.