West Virginia was one of the first states to begin offering sports betting after the United States Supreme Court ruled that the activity was one that was open to legalization in every state. From the beginning, West Virginia offered land based and mobile wagering, seeing quality revenue numbers. However, an issue with their online operator caused mobile betting to shut down and revenues started to crumble. Now, new licensing has been issued and the mobile industry will be up and running again in the near future, with officials anticipating the launch.
Problems and Solutions
In West Virginia, Delaware North had the monopoly when it came to mobile sports betting, having launched via the BetLucky brand. The company was partnered with Miomni Gaming for the online services as well as their on-site options. Back in early March, Delaware North saw all of their sports betting services shut down unexpectedly. It was later revealed that Miomni did not alert the company of a third party vendor associated with the account, Entergaming. It was Entergaming that shut down services after entering a dispute with Miomni.
Thus, West Virginia has not offered mobile sports betting since March 6th. They are working to find a new provider but have yet to make any new partnerships known. However, the West Virginia Lottery recently approved online sports betting licensing for five companies for a one year time frame. This was due to the sports betting handle in the state being unable to reach the expected $3 million.
New sports betting apps will now be offered in the state that feature such brands as FanDuel, William Hill and DraftKings. It is unclear as to when the apps will launch but each of these operators are already in business in other states. They have the know-how and reach to be able to provide services rather quickly, one would imagine.
Mobile a Must
For sports betting operations to be successful and reach estimated numbers, a mobile offering must be provided. With mobile betting, players can place a wager from anywhere in the state. Without it, players are restricted to the gaming venues only. This can make wagering difficult depending on location.
With mobile betting, there is no traveling involved or additional spending. Players who live further from gaming venues can splurge more often on wagering because they do not have to pay for gas to travel to a casino as well as a hotel stay or other needs due to the need to travel.
An example as to why mobile is needed can easily be seen in the state of New Jersey. The state seems to be the go-example regarding any type of online wagering component. For sports betting, around 80% of the monthly wagers in the state come from mobile devices. This is a staggering amount and clearly shows that players are more willing to wager via a mobile device then a physical facility.
Everything is done via mobile these days. We shop, order food, text friends, engage in social media and so much more. It is only natural that the gaming industry, as well as other industries as a whole, will have to adapt and begin to offer some form of mobile connectivity in order to remain relevant.
For now, officials are ready to see mobile gaming back again in West Virginia. Hopefully, players will not have to wait an extended period of time before gaming will be live online. The market will also be increased once Delaware North is able to find a new partner for their online sports betting services.