Update: Hotlines prepared for sports wagering

Published: Mar. 2, 2018 at 4:42 PM EST
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Update: 8/22/2019 4:35 P.M.

With the approaching football season comes betting on the games.

West Virginia has been gearing up for sports betting since the legislature in 2018 passed a law allowing it in the Mountain State.

Groups dealing with gambling addiction also have been preparing for more calls to the 1-800-GAMBLER hotline.

They've been holding educational meetings with people responding to hotline callers.

The West Virginia Marketing Director for the hotline says people who bet on sports events tend to be younger than other gamblers.

"They tend to be people who are very focused on math, very focused on winning, as opposed to a lot of people who call us who play lottery, bingo and slot machines," says Sheila Moran. "A lot of those folks are just playing to escape physical or emotional pain. But sports betters are doing it because they believe they believe they're going to really hit it big."

Moran says legalized sports betting may encourage more people to wager on major sports events such as the Super Bowl and March Madness.

There's a link to the organization's website on the "Hot Button".


CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The West Virginia House has passed legislation to legalize sports betting at the state's five casinos in the event that a U.S. Supreme Court case leads to the repeal of a nationwide ban.

The bill passed 77-22 on Friday follows Senate approval.

It would allow sports betting at West Virginia licensed casinos and on Lottery Commission-approved mobile device applications.

The state would collect 10 percent of gross receipts. Bettors would have to be at least 21.

Later this year, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide New Jersey's challenge to a law banning sports betting in all but four states.

Supporters say it will create jobs and tax revenues and bring sports betting into the open.

Critics say it will increase gambling and addictions and could compromise integrity of sporting events.