The launch of sports betting operations at two West Virginia casinos has been delayed, local news outlet the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported citing information from the West Virginia Lottery.
Lottery spokesperson Randy Burnside told the media outlet earlier this week that sportsbooks were expected to be opened at Mardi Gras Casino in Nitro and Wheeling Island Casino in Wheeling by the end of the month. However, Delaware North, the owner of the two gambling venues, had informed the state gambling watchdog that it would delay the opening of sports betting facilities at the two properties. The company had not specified why the launch would be delayed.
Mr. Burnside further pointed out that the Lottery is waiting to hear from Delaware North to schedule testing of the sports betting operations in October.
West Virginia became the fourth state to launch sports betting after the mid-May ruling of the US Supreme Court that authorized individual states to legalize wagering on professional and college sporting events, if they feel inclined to do so. Legal sports betting services went live in West Virginia in the end of August and Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races was the first local property to jump on the betting bandwagon.
The sportsbook at the casino is operated by British bookmaker William Hill. The Greenbrier is the only other property currently offering sports betting within West Virginia borders. It cut the ribbon of its FanDuel-run sportsbook on September 14.
Sports Betting Market Looks Healthy during First Few Weeks
According to information from the West Virginia Lottery, the state’s two sportsbooks have handled nearly $3.4 million in wagers since the Hollywood Casino facility opened doors. Sports betting handle at the property totaled a little over $450,000 during its first week of operation and a little over $1.1 million during its second week. Together with the FanDuel Sportsbook at The Greenbrier, sports betting handle amounted to more than $1.8 million during week three.
Handle figures are expected to improve even further in the coming weeks as the state’s sportsbooks are to go live with digital/mobile betting. Eric Zimny, Vice President of Racing and Sports Operations at Hollywood Casino, said during a recent ICE Sports Betting USA webinar that they will likely launch their mobile betting app in the coming weeks. The casino official pointed out that he still did not have a firm date and that the launch will not take place next week, but it will not take place in three or four months from now, as well.
It is still unknown when a FanDuel-powered mobile app will go live at The Greenbrier, but said app is anticipated to boost betting operations at the property significantly.
It now (and for now) seems that West Virginia has a healthy nascent betting market. And betting activity in the state is only poised to grow with the launch of mobile betting and the anticipated opening of two more sportsbook.
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