The state of West Virginia was one of the first to legalize sports betting in the United States, choosing to offer not only land-based betting but also online. With the online offering, the state was seeing a nice return. Delaware North was providing mobile gaming via the BetLucky brand until early March, when there services were unexpectedly interrupted. The brand remains shutdown and the state has been without ever since. Now, it seems DraftKings is preparing to launch a new app, bringing mobile sports betting back to the region, possibly by next week.
DraftKings/Hollywood Casino Mash-up
DraftKings has partnered with Hollywood Casino in Charles Town to bring mobile betting back to West Virginia. According to recent reports, the app for sports betting via DraftKings will be ready to go as soon as next week.
DraftKings has announced that state lottery has tested the new app and made the necessary approvals for the option to launch. The lottery had technology experts check the app to ensure that players would not be able to access betting when outside the state. Like all states that offer a form of online gambling, the player must be located in the state borders to take part. Geolocation technology must be in working order to ensure the app is going to allow only players in West Virginia to bet.
West Virginia Lottery Director John Myers stated that the app should be ready for soft-launch by next week. DraftKings will be providing the technology used for the app, working with Hollywood Casino after penning a deal with Penn National Gaming in late 2018.
Once launched, DraftKings will be offering sports betting in three US states. The company quickly decided to move from daily fantasy sports to sports betting once the SCOTUS ruling involving the federal ban on sports betting was lifted in May 2018. The company was actually the first to launch in New Jersey via mobile gaming and then launched a land-based sportsbook at the Resorts Casino Hotel.
Ready for Mobile Again
West Virginia gaming regulators as well as players are ready to see mobile go live again. Delaware North was providing mobile sports betting via the BetLucky brand as well as at their two gaming venues, Wheeling Island and the Mardi Gras casino. All of sudden in early March, all sports betting services were shutdown.
It was later revealed that Delaware North’s sports betting partner, Miomi Gaming has a third party vendor partnership with Entergaming. Delaware North was unaware of this and it was Entergaming who stopped the sports betting services.
With the shutdown, the state has not offered a mobile component in over two months. Players have been unable to place a sports bet unless physically located at an operating sportsbook. The state has suffered with low revenues due to the online shutdown.
Hope is now in sight since online apps will soon be back in action. Aside from DraftKings and Hollywood casinos, other operators were approved and will be launching in the near future. This will help to provide a more convenient betting options for players than having to physically visit a venue.
The loss of revenues is a clear indication as to just how important online gaming is. Without the mobile component, players are less likely to wager, especially if venues are spread out across the state.
We shall see as the apps start going live just how big of an impact they have on the online gambling landscape of the state.