West Virginia Becomes Latest State To Permit Esports Betting

Posted on March 29, 2022

West Virginia has officially become the latest state of the United States to officially legislate to allow esports betting in the state.

Earlier this month, the state’s Esports Betting Bill (House Bill 4826) had advanced to the senate for discussion and ratification if successful.

This process was completed just a few days ago, with the move being accepted and adopted by the senate with immediate effect.

However, it may well take several months following the adoption of the new law for it to come into effect across the wide range of sports betting services in the state.

West Virginia follows Connecticut as being another state that has legislated to permit esports betting alongside its sports betting industry.

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How Will Esports Be Regulated In West Virginia?

One of the sticking points for a number of states has been defining where in their betting and gambling legislation, esports betting should fall.

West Virginia has followed the example set by many states and sportsbooks in Europe, the United States and in other parts of the world by classifying esports as a subsection within the sports betting industry.

The bill also identifies what the state will view esports as, which is an “electronic sports or competitive video game played as a game of skill for spectators.”

This is very important as not only do we have a clear definition of what West Virginia sees as an esport betting title, but also we have a very broad definition which should encompass all types of esports without imposing limitations.

This means that bookmakers in West Virginia will have greater scope to accept a wide range of bets and bet sizes on esports, than is possible in some other states that have imposed betting limits or some other kind of legislation that prohibits certain bet types, or caps the amount you can win.

An example of this is New Jersey where esports bets are limited to $100 or less in value and the maximum you can win on a single esports bet is capped at $500.

West Virginia joins a growing number of US states that now permit esports betting legally including Colorado, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington.

No Country-Wide Esports Betting Legislation

At first glance, the fragmentary nature of the United States of America’s approach to gambling legislation including esports betting does appear somewhat problematic.

However, in truth, it is a system that American gamblers are entirely familiar with where one state permits one thing and another does not and even where two states permit a gambling activity, how the regulate and legislate for it can be slightly different.

It is more of a problem for the betting providers who need to ensure that their betting product is tailored to each state and adheres to the specific laws of that state. This unfortunately means that the design of one sportsbook or esports betting service a site may use in Nevada for example, cannot be used in New Jersey or Virginia due to differing laws.

However, there is now ample evidence to show that the majority of the American esports betting market is now slowly coming online and that is exciting, not just for the esports betting sites that want a slice of the action, but for the millions of esports fans across the United States who can now enhance their viewing with a bet or two on the action.

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Ian John

A lifelong poker fan, Ian is also well-versed in the world of sports betting, casino gaming, and has written extensively on the online gambling industry. Based in the UK, Ian brings fresh insight into all facets of gaming.

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