West Virginia recently passed legislation that would make them the first state to offer real money sports betting outside of Nevada. The legislation puts the West Virginia Lottery in charge of overseeing sports betting in the state, though most of it will be conducted by casino locations. Lottery representatives believe that the state will be ready to begin offering sports betting within 90 days of a favorable decision from the New Jersey Supreme Court hearing.

The WV Lottery attachment helped lawmakers sell this ambitious bill. The Lottery has a lot of pull and credibility within the state. They also have some financial power that helped this bill steamroll any opposition. A study was conducted by the consulting firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming into the effects of sports betting legalization. The aim of the study hoped to find out how sports wagering could benefit the Mountaineer State. The results of the study were positive and encouraged the state to reach out to Nevada to examine their regulations and how sportsbooks are run.

There are five casinos that could host sports betting in West Virginia. These are The Casino Club at The Greenbrier, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, Mardi Gras Casino and Resort, Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort and the Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack. There is also a potential for mobile apps to be developed with each of these locations. These factors combine to make West Virginia an alluring prospect for sports betting in the United States.

West Virginia’s legislation has not reserved any betting options exclusive to the Lottery, but it is not crazy to assume they will jump in at some point. The WV Lottery will no doubt be benefiting off the legal sports betting in the state since they are handling regulation. Once the sports gambling system is up and running, perhaps outside residents will be able to purchase WV lottery tickets through USA Lottery gambling sites (which allow people to play in lotteries outside of their own state).

Online lottery options are a stretch at this point along with online sports betting. This is due to a law known as the Federal Wire Act that prohibits US-based sportsbooks from operating. If The New Jersey Supreme Court case is ruled in favor of New Jersey than it is plausible that the federal ban on sports gambling will be struck down. This decision would trigger West Virginia’s legislation and start the 90-day timeline to legal wagering options. Whether the lottery hosts betting options remains to be seen, but the fact that they are the ones in charge of overseeing the market is a huge step for state lotteries throughout the country.