West Virginia is a small state and seen as a bit out of the way at times. But when it comes to sports betting legislation and offering online sports betting, they were the third state in the nation to do so – only trailing behind Nevada and New Jersey.
You can get year-round horse and greyhound racing, complete casino gaming in all types of locations – from race and greyhound tracks to the five-star Greenbrier resort – plus West Virginia free bets at their several full-service sportsbooks.
What West Virginia lacks in size, it makes up for sports betting innovation and accessibility.
The state of West Virginia has a number of retail sportsbooks that are located inside area casinos. They have all the bells and whistles that you want to see in a top sportsbook. They also give you the excitement of watching live sports with your fellow bettors. What they don't have, however, are the West Virginia free bets and bonuses that you can get by placing your bets through an online account.
That being the case, you might do well to save the trips to the brick-and-mortar sportsbook for special events. When it comes to betting on a regular basis, go digital. That way, you can be eligible for the many West Virginia free bets, sign-up bonuses, and deposit match bonuses that online sportsbooks offer new customers.
DraftKings: DraftKings offers its new customers a pair of bonus offers. Firts up is a free bet equal to the amount of your first deposit, up to $50. Make the deposit, and the bet is yours. When you make a deposit of more than $50, you get a deposit match bonus of 20%. That can be worth as much as $1,000.
BetMGM: There are two bonuses for new customers at BetMGM. One is a free bet of up to $25 when you make a deposit of at least $25. There is also a deposit matching bonus of 100% that can grow to as high as $600. Bet the full amount two-times to unlock the full bonus.
William Hill: Operating on a license from the Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort, William Hill has a $500 risk-free bet for its new online and mobile customers. If the very first bet you place loses, a free bet in the amount of the lost wager will be credited to your account. You must use that free bet within seven days.
FanDuel: The original sportsbook in West Virginia, FanDuel offers new registrations a risk-free bet of up to $1,000. All you need to do is sign up for a new account, add enough to that account to cover the bet, and then place it. If that bet doesn't win, a free bet will be given to you for the full amount, up to $1,000.
Betly: New customers at Betly get what they call a risk-free winning streak bet. It works like a risk-free bet, except that if you win your first bet, the risk-free portion of the bet rolls over and keeps rolling over until you eventually lose. It can be worth as much as $100.
For a small state like West Virginia, having five online and mobile sportsbooks plus another five retail sportsbooks makes for a busy market. Plus, you have a number of sports betting options across the state line in Pennsylvania. So the reasoning of operators is simple - they need new customers. Incentives like West Virginia free bets therefore need to be offered to attract clients.
This is all excellent news for you, the consumer. You are a needed commodity, and the sportsbooks will offer you free money to become their customer. And with five options for sportsbooks in the Mountaineer state, you can find a free bet or bonus money offer that works best for you.
Online and mobile sportsbooks offer four different types of main bonuses for new customers. Not all will fit the kind of sports bettor you are. But chances are good, from the novice bettor to the high-roller who likes having action every night, that something can be found that works best for you.
This is a common bonus offer that works exactly as it sounds. It is a free bet in that the bet is gifted to new customers by the sportsbook. Simply sign up for a new account, and you will be able to place a wager using the sportsbook's money.
These betting credits are added to your new account as soon as the requirements have been met. Typically that just means completing the sign-up process. Sometimes you may have to make a deposit. But either way, the bet is paid for by the sportsbook, and you get to keep the winnings.
A risk-free bet is different from a free bet for a couple of reasons. The biggest is who is fronting the bet. While a free bet uses the sportsbook's money, a risk-free bet is placed using your money. The sportsbook guarantees the bet, but you pay for it.
The second difference is the size of the risk-free bet. As you saw with the bonuses offered in West Virginia, the highest valued free bet is $50. But a risk-free bet can be as high as $1,000. It's not $1,000 of cash in your account, but it does give you two chances to make that much by placing a winning bet.
Another bonus with a modest amount, a sign-up bonus may not get above $20. But the ease of earning that $20 is what makes this an attractive bonus offer. All you have to do is sign up for a new account, and the bonus is yours.
It's also worth noting that unlike a free bet or risk-free bet, a sign-up bonus is cash in your account. You are free to wager the money, of course. You can choose to use it to build your bankroll. But usually, it's presented as unlocked cash that can be withdrawn from your account as soon as you get it.
This is the most difficult of the bonus offers to turn into cash, but it comes with the biggest potential payday. When you make your first deposit after opening a new sports betting account, this kind of bonus offer will add money to your deposit. Most will offer a 100% matching bonus, meaning that if you deposit $500, you will receive an extra $500.
Deposit matching bonus offers have a cap that can range from $250 to $1,000. And in order to unlock the bonus amount and turn it into cash in your account, there are requirements for how often you must wager it. These can be as low as just one time to as high as five times or more.
Working with a license through Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, the DraftKings online and mobile sportsbook offers its new customers two different bonus offers.
First, you will get a free bet of up to $50 when you make an initial deposit of at least that amount. You can make a larger deposit, and considering the next bonus offer, you likely will, but the free bet offer tops out at $50.
That second bonus is a deposit match of up to $1,000 at 20%. That means that to get the full $1,000, you will need to deposit a total of $5,000.
One of the two online and mobile sportsbook skins that operate with a license from The Greenbrier - the location responsible for more than half of the state's sports betting handle and almost 80% of the online handle - BetMGM gives new customers two bonus offers.
The first bonus is a $25 free bet when you make your first deposit. You can use that $25 for any sports bet offered by BetMGM. The second bonus is a $600 deposit match at 100%. In order to cash in on the deposit bonus, simply bet the amount of your deposit and bonus a total of two times.
William Hill operates from its brick-and-mortar sportsbook at the Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort, and offers it's new online and mobile customers a $500 risk-free bet. No specific amount of deposit is required other than having enough money in your account to cover the bet.
Simply sign up for your new account, add funds to your account, and place a bet. Should that bet lose, the amount of the loss - up to $500 - will be credited to your account in the form of a bonus bet. You must use the bonus bet within seven days, or it will be forfeited.
The other half of the two sportsbooks that operate from The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, FanDuel only has a mobile app. The online sportsbook operating on the license belongs to BetMGM.
FanDuel and The Greenbrier launched the first retail and mobile sportsbook in the state, and new customers are eligible for a risk-free bet of up to $1,000. Just make a wager after registering your new mobile account, and if that wager loses, a betting credit equal to the amount will appear in your account within 72 hours.
Replacing the now-defunct BetLucky, which had been the sportsbook working out of both the Mardi Gras Casino and Wheeling Island, Betly is the newest entry to the West Virginia sports betting market.
They offer new customers a risk-free bet of up to $100, although with a twist that most sportsbooks don't do. Normally if you win that first bet, you lose out on the bonus. But Betly rolls over your risk-free bet until the first time you lose. Win three bets, then lose, and it's that first loss that will be settled up with a free betting credit.
The state laws of West Virginia are simple and straightforward. If you are at least 21 years old, you can open an online and mobile sports betting account in the state. And when you want to use that account to place bets or capitalize on West Virginia free bets and bonuses, you must be inside state lines. You do not need to be a resident of the state.
Anyone who meets these criteria is eligible to use a bonus offered by a West Virginia-based sportsbook.
The amount of the bonus, be it a free bet, sign-up bonus, or deposit bonus, does not count as income. So you do not have to report the bonus offer on your taxes. However, if you unlock the amount of the bonus and eventually withdraw it as winnings, it will count the same as other gambling winnings, which do count as income and must be reported to the IRS.
On the flip side, along with reporting your winnings, you can report all itemized losses up to the amount of your winnings, lowering your overall tax liability.
Sportsbook customers in West Virginia can add money to their account in a number of different ways. You can use online bill pay or bank transfer, credit and debit card, PayNearMe, e-wallets like PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller, or cash paid in person at the corresponding retail sportsbook.
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