West Virginia State Economy Receives a Betting Boost

Written By Janice Doughtrey

The state of West Virginia reaped the economic benefits of the introduction of sports betting at their established casinos this past weekend, where participants put over $600,000 in stakes to the now legal activity. Since the Supreme Court ruling this past spring that opened up the new opportunity for legalized sports betting, West Virginia has had its first taste of the economic advantages that can be obtained through this mix of gambling and entertainment.

In May, the United States Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, a law initially passed to prevent the spread of sports betting in America. Until then, Nevada held the monopoly for legalized sports better. However, with the introduction of the Supreme Court’s ruling, West Virginia now has the opportunity to participate in such activities, and increase state revenue which will improve current economic conditions.

Whether an individual is involved in fantasy leagues, or they want to dabble in the several casinos that are open to the public in West Virginia, playing the stakes has certainly appealed to mass of people who chose to participate in this weekend’s debut of sports betting. Currently, five casinos are open for business in West Virginia, and regulated games such as terminal and card games have had a major economic impact on the state’s economy in the opening days. Also, racing tracks, both canine and equine are open for business and taking bets for those who enjoy a little live action.

Interested in sports books? Due to the Supreme Court’s ruling, an individual can now place bets in five other states across America. Whether an individual are in the northeast and travelling through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or Delaware- or an individual is travelling south towards Mississippi. In West Virginia, the Hollywood Casino took the lead to offer this amenity, enticing a whole new realm of individuals eager and hungry to capitalize on their passion of sports.

If an individual is told that they cannot do something they love, and then legislation make it possible, of course there is going to be interest. The state of West Virginia is betting on this fact! The additional revenue from gambling tax, combined with an increase of jobs in the industry, will have a major impact in the state’s economic condition over the next several years. Now the state will be able to provide its own stability through taxing gambling, versus losing revenue from its residents travelling to casinos out of state to spend their money.

The opening weekend, reaping in over $600,000 is just the start. As the novelty and word-of-mouth continue to increase the interest of old-timers and those new to the sports betting arena, the state will see a dramatic shift in its economic condition as the year presses on. The introduction of legalized gambling and sports betting in the current casinos will also have a perpetuating effect on the economy through the lowering of the unemployment rate and rise in gambling related tourism. It will be interesting to see how many more states appeal for this ability in their local state legislature in the following year.