Against Advice of Sports Leagues, W.Va. House Passes Sports Betting Bill

Photo Provided Sports betting boards, such as this one in Las Vegas, may eventually be in place at five West Virginia casinos.

WHEELING — A bill to legalize sports betting in West Virginia once it is approved at the national level has passed the West Virginia House,and now goes back to the state Senate for consideration of changes made in the House.

The House passed Senate Bill 415 this afternoon on a vote of 77-22.

If the Senate concurs, the measure then moves on to Gov. Jim Justice for signature into law.

If signed, the legislation would permit sports betting at West Virginia’s four racetracks and The Greenbrier resort owned by Gov. Jim Justice. The law would only go into effect, however, if Congress acts to authorize sports wagering on the national level, or if the U.S. Supreme Court renders an opinion permitting states to start sports betting games.

The major sports leagues contend the bill has significant flaws, and Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert Manfred Jr. said this afternoon in a conference call with West Virginia reporters that the MLB has lobbyists in Charleston who will seek to convince Justice to not sign the bill.