This week, the West Virginia Lottery Commission approved several applications for licensing regarding supplier services of sports betting. The approvals took place during the traditional monthly meeting of the Commission in Charleston. Already, sports betting is in operation, with operators looking to add to the services.
Sports Betting in WV
Currently, the Hollywood Casino of Charles Town, the Mountaineer Racetrack and Casino as well as The Greenbrier, have sportsbooks in operation. According to John Myers, the State Lottery Director, the groundwork is beginning to add to the number of sportsbooks on offer.
Each supplier has to have the Lottery Commission’s approval before moving forward. The state provides four different license options regarding sports betting; including one for the operator, the supplier, management service provider and the occupational license, which is given to those who work in the casinos involving sports betting.
In October, sports betting generated over $3 million in revenues for operators. Only $306,000 was provided to the state by way of the 10% privilege tax. The Charles Town facility earned the most out of the three operators with $2.2 million in earnings.
Struggling to Gain Ground
West Virginia was one of the first states to offer sports betting once the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was no longer valid. As states passed sports betting legislation or waited to get started, West Virginia wasted no time as Delaware North launched online as well as retail options at the Wheeling Island Casino and Mardi Gras Casino.
However, not long after launching the online and land-based operations were shutdown. Delaware North had no idea that their sports betting partner was working with a third party. It was the third party that shut down the services and the company has since parted ways with their sports betting partner. They have yet to reopen operations.
According to Myers, there is no word as to when Delaware North will be back in action. Since losing the services provided by the two casinos of the brand and online operations, West Virginia has struggled to gain ground with the new industry.
With new operators in action, the state should be able to earn even more in revenues as players take part in sports betting. The state offers online and land-based options which means they have huge potential to earn money from the wagering option. States like New Jersey and Pennsylvania see big business from the online sector, with over 80% of monthly wagers coming from a mobile device.
For the state, the supplier licensing is a positive sign. Even though the casinos are moving forward with the process, official applications for additional sportsbooks have yet to be filled out. It may still be some time before we see more sports betting options at the casinos located in the state. According to Myers, offering more than one sportsbook per property will provide a choice for customers and as consumers are different it will offer something for everyone.