West Virginia is Performing Well with Online Gambling

Even though we are talking about something in its infancy, the stats show that online gambling is performing well from the outset in West Virginia. Originally launched in July 2020, most could be forgiven for overlooking what’s happening there, as it’s hardly ever been the focal point for gambling of any kind.

Growth Beyond Expectations

Here’s the first surprising thing to learn about the online gambling industry in West Virginia. It’s growing at rates you would tend to associate with the likes of New Jersey. Not only that but if you then balance it out according to population size, what you see is that the market in West Virginia outstrips anywhere else in the country.

That seems insane and shows the potential for the online gambling industry across the nation.

Spend Per Population is Crazy!

It’s the spend per population where we can appreciate how crazy the West Virginia market is right now. It’s not about how much is currently spent as the market is in its infancy, so the total per head of population is 8.5 times lower in West Virginia as it is in New Jersey. However, it’s the growth that’s key.

When you look at the growth, West Virginia is fast catching up starting off at $0.2 per month per head of population in July to $1.20 in October.

Explaining the Popularity

But why so popular? Well, online gambling in West Virginia did launch in the middle of a pandemic, so that may have had something to do with it. People were forced to search online to place bets, and this new market had opened up before their eyes, so it makes sense that this contributed to exceptional growth.

However, West Virginia may have a problem in the future, and it means the potential for growth will be restricted.

First, the state only has a population in the region of 1.7 million residents. Next, it has the lowest household income in the country at just over $44k per year. Add in the fact it also has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, and what you get is a picture where it will quickly hit its ceiling and find it tough to penetrate.

While this sounds dismal, it shouldn’t be forgotten that this market will still prove to be valuable to West Virginia. The fact that there are limits on who can operate in the state will undoubtedly help. At the time of writing, only five companies are operating within West Virginia: FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, William Hill US, and Betly. These are all big names in the industry, and that explains why the people of West Virginia have been hit with various promotions to tempt them onto their network.

We can expect there to continue to be some growth in this market over the next few months. It would take a lot for the state to get up to the level of others around it, but its current performance indicates it was correct for companies to look at launching in the state in the first place.


Our in-house expert for all things regulation, Jackson covers all major recent developments across US states relating to gambling laws & legislation.