West Virginia’s sports betting and online casino market is about to get a lot more competitive.
On Wednesday, the West Virginia Lottery Commission, which oversees all gaming activity in the state, learned that the Greenbrier Resort and its BetMGM partner planned to launch the state’s second online casino app before the sun went down.
BetMGM, the joint venture of casino operator MGM Resorts and UK-listed gambling giant GVC Holdings, launched online sports betting with the Greenbrier this January. The Greenbrier also has a sports betting pact with Flutter Entertainment’s FanDuel brand, which was the first WV betting operator to launch one year ago.
DraftKings launched West Virginia’s first online casino in mid-July courtesy of its partnership with Penn National Gaming’s Hollywood Casino at Charlestown Races. The WV Lottery Commission recently reported that the first month of online casino play resulted in turnover of $37.2m and revenue of nearly $825k.
By comparison, the state’s three active sportsbooks reported wagering handle of $15m and revenue of over $1.4m in July, with around 70% of handle and 54% of revenue coming via digital channels (and nearly all of it going to DraftKings).
Those three sportsbooks are now preparing for the long-awaited return of sports betting at Delaware North’s two WV properties, the Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island casinos. The two casinos offered both retail and online betting through a partnership with Mionmi Gaming but the betting shut down due to Mionmi’s issues with a third-party supplier, sparking lawsuits that persist to this day.
The WV Metro News quoted WV Lottery director John Myers saying that the Mardi Gras casino would relaunch retail and online betting as of Thursday (27), while the Wheeling Island property would follow suit on Wednesday, September 2. Myers clarified that these would both be ‘soft’ openings and the company wouldn’t be actively promoting the IGT-powered product “until they get things up and running a little better.”
The Mountaineer Racetrack & Casino is poised to join the digital betting party any week now, as the Commission told that the casino’s betting partner William Hill planned to start testing its betting app next week.
WV Lottery chair Ken Greear praised Commission staff for overseeing iGaming’s launch and keeping sports betting going despite their pandemic limitations.