Sports Betting Moving Forward in the US

It seems most every week that sports betting is in the news in some form or fashion. Several states have already legalized and launched the new industry and others are wanting in on the action. Over the past few days, new developments took place in Iowa and West Virginia, with one state moving ahead swiftly while the other is lagging a bit behind.

Iowa Update

The state of Iowa became the 11th in the United States to regulate sports betting last week, just a few short months after Governor Kim Reynolds decided to sign the sports betting bill into law. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission then moved as quickly as possible to ensure that launch could happen sooner rather than later.

So far with the launch, eight land-based sportsbooks are in operation. The industry will be quite competitive once fully operational, as each of the 19 casino venues can have two online sports betting skins each!

Surprisingly, it was Iowa that became the first state to launch both land-based and online sports betting in the US at the exact same time. Right now though, the state only offers online services via William Hill. However, many more operators are expected to launch in the coming weeks and into the year’s end.

West Virginia Online Debacle

In West Virginia, sports betting has been in operation for quite some time. They were actually one of the first states to legalize the option once the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was no longer valid. The state started off with online and land-based options, only to see the online element go away along with two sportsbooks.

Delaware North was offering land-based wagering via Wheeling Island and the Mardi Gras casinos. They also used the BetLucky brand to launch online. In March, they saw services end after a third party vendor shut them down. The company had no idea that a third party vendor was even part of their deal with Miomni.

The result of the shutdown as led to no online sports betting in the state for over five months. It is still unclear as to when online wagering will be back in action. Rumors are circulating that the state lottery is the cause behind the lack of services.

PlayWV recently spoke to John Myers, a regulator in West Virginia, who stated that there is no hold up for online sports betting from the state’s side. The lottery has reportedly told operators how to set up their mobile system since last year.

According to Myers, the timeline for online sports betting to return to the state is in the hands of the operators. It could be before football season, but it seems no one is holding their breath that the industry will be back up and running at that time.

For now, other states are bringing in massive revenues when it comes to sports betting. New Jersey handled over $251 million in bets placed in July, a new record for the US. They continue to see the majority of the wagers placed done so via mobile devices.


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