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West Virginia has a market for legally sanctioned sports betting. The state is currently working to get internet casinos up and running after passing legislation to legalize them in 2019. Even though sports betting in West Virginia is now regulated, this does not mean that offshore gambling is no longer available.
The passage of time recently marked the two-year anniversary of the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). The introduction of legal and regulated sports betting marketplaces was intended to reduce offshore sports betting. Gambling, however, is still prevalent in unregulated markets. Bill Miller, President of the American Gaming Association (AGA), recently issued a public statement regarding offshore entities and the issue with media outlets discussing them. The inability of a large number of sports bettors to distinguish between offshore and legal sportsbooks is a problem.
“When mainstream publications continue to legitimize the risky illegal market, blurring the lines between legal, regulated sports betting and the predatory, unregulated offshore market,” the author writes. “This is made more difficult by the fact that mainstream publications continue to legitimize the dangerous illegal market.”
Checking PlayWV.com is a quick way to see if a mobile gaming application complies with state law. We only review and recommend legitimate and properly licensed casinos and sportsbooks. Miller blamed PASPA for establishing an industry that is still active today. According to a LinkedIn post he made:
The policymakers’ goals for PASPA were never even approached. Instead of preserving competition, the ineffective law aided in the maintenance of a vast illegal industry worth $150 billion per year, leaving athletes and consumers vulnerable.
Despite the fact that Mountain State residents have access to three high-quality online sports betting applications, the state has seen a gradual rollout of online casinos. The vast majority of offshore sportsbooks have a casino area where customers can partake in a variety of casino activities such as slot machines, blackjack, and other table games.
West Virginia will almost certainly continue to lose money to illegal offshore companies until the state launches an online casino.
Let’s look at how these offshore sportsbooks differ from the legal platforms that are available, as well as how far West Virginia is from releasing legal online casinos.
Online Casinos in West Virginia
The measures put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 had a significant and negative impact on the state. West Virginia casinos and retail sportsbooks have been closed for several months. The good news is that West Virginia is also reopening, with retail casinos and sportsbooks set to reopen on June 5 of this year.
Despite the fact that online casinos became legal in March 2019, they will not begin accepting customers until the summer of this year at the earliest.
Nobody could have predicted that every retail location would close simultaneously. WV, on the other hand, has suffered as a result of the lack of availability of mobile casino apps during this time period. Shawn Fluharty, a West Virginia state representative, was a co-sponsor of the state’s iGaming legislation and expressed frustration with the state’s consistent lack of progress. In an interview with PlayWV.com, he stated the following:
“It appears that West Virginia is a state where the legislature acts, then the legislation is shelved.” It’s vexing, and it prevents us from progressing in a variety of areas, not just gaming regulation. According to Fluharty, once the epidemic is over, West Virginia will face a $300 million fiscal deficit.
There is little doubt that the state is losing potential revenue as a result of offshore sites that allow for multiple types of gaming. Fluharty then stated: “There is little doubt that residents of West Virginia participate in activities such as online poker; however, they do so online in unregulated marketplaces located overseas, and the state receives no money as a result.”
The West Virginia Lottery Board approved guidelines for the introduction of internet casinos at the end of April. This could be a hint that the introduction of legal gambling applications will happen sooner than the original target date of Spring 2021.
Both the gamblers and Fluharty realize they are passing up a fantastic opportunity. He stated:
We could generate consistent money if the regulation governing online gambling was in place and functioning properly, which would be extremely beneficial to us.
Despite the fact that the state did not take advantage of the opportunity to offer online casinos when everyone was confined at home, it appears that the time is approaching.
Choosing Between Legal and Offshore Sportsbooks
There are numerous significant differences between offshore sportsbooks and sports betting applications. By far the most significant distinction between the two is that one is legal while the other is not. It is illegal to bet through an offshore operator under any circumstances, regardless of whether your state allows sports betting.
There is no valid reason for residents of legalized gambling states not to engage in the activity. In many ways, regulated sports betting options outperform their offshore bookmaking counterparts.
The single most important factor to consider is whether they can be trusted with your money. You can make risk-free deposits and withdraw your winnings with confidence that nothing negative will happen.
Aside from the security of your money and your account, legitimate sportsbooks pay out winnings quickly
Another significant distinction is the provision of superior customer service that is standard in legitimate businesses. There are numerous channels through which you can seek assistance if you are having problems with the sportsbook. If you have a problem and are using an offshore site, you don’t have many options, and you certainly don’t have any legal recourse.
Offshore betting sites have one advantage over land-based betting establishments in that they can post odds for any event they want. This includes betting markets based on reality TV shows or even political campaigns.
People seek illegal solutions because they are unable to bet on these events through legal bookmakers
Miller requests that when discussing these businesses, the media refrain from referring to offshore sportsbooks as “just another option.” Given that the Presidential Election will be held the following autumn, many news programs will naturally discuss the current state of the betting odds.
For the record, election betting is illegal in the state of West Virginia. Because these markets are not available on betting apps that are legal in your jurisdiction, the odds you are seeing are from offshore firms.
Miller wants the public to understand that offshore bookmakers are “illegal, unregulated, and predatory,” and that their profits contribute to “money laundering, drug trafficking, and human trafficking.”