Delaware North to relaunch West Virginia mobile betting with IGT


delaware-north-igt-virginia-sports-bettingWest Virginia sports bettors will soon have more mobile wagering options after gambling tech group International Game Technology (IGT) inked a deal with casino operator Delaware North.

On Tuesday, IGT announced it had signed a “multi-state sports betting agreement” with Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment for the latter firm’s casinos in West Virginia and Arkansas. The WV deal involves both retail and mobile betting while Arkansas is limited to retail betting (due to local law).

Delaware North operates two WV casinos – Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island – that used to offer retail and online wagering through a partnership with Miomni Gaming. But those mobile wagering operations were suspended last March after Miomni had issues with a third-party supplier, a situation that resulted in a flurry of lawsuits and a paucity of online wagering options for the locals.

Delaware North operates casinos in several other US states, including some where IGT is already powering other companies’ sportsbooks, so this may be the beginning of a beautiful betting friendship. Or not.

In other IGT news, the company issued a joint announcement with Twin River Worldwide Holdings regarding an end to the two firms’ protracted war over Rhode Island’s slots and lottery operations. Twin River operates two state-owned casinos in Rhode Island, for which IGT has a deal to supply 85% of the slot machines.

Twin River and IGT have been butting heads ever since Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo approved a 20-year extension of IGT’s deal to provide slots in casinos and to power the Rhode Island Lottery. Twin River, which has formed a consortium of heavy hitters to bid on the lottery contract, believes the IGT extension was improperly awarded without a public tender.

The two companies admitted earlier this month that they were having “discussions” regarding a possible solution to this impasse. On Tuesday, Rhode Island media reported that IGT and Twin River will hold a joint press conference on Thursday regarding “a framework to better support Rhode Island’s third-largest source of revenue.”

Meanwhile, Monday saw the release of a state-commissioned report by Christiansen Capital Advisors (CCA) into IGT’s controversial 20-year deal extension. The report pans the notion of a 20-year contract, saying a 10-year deal with optional extensions would be more optimal, particularly in a sector in which technology is changing.

Rhode Island isn’t the only market in which IGT’s no-bid contract renewals have come under fire. On Monday, Finland’s state-run gambling monopoly Veikkaus was slammed for extending an IGT contract worth “tens of millions’ of euros without a competitive tender.