This is a developing story and since publishing, BetMGM Casino, William Hill Sportsbook, and betly Sportsbook all launched in the Mountain State.
Wednesday was a busy day for the West Virginia Lottery. On top of clearing the way for a new legal online sportsbook in the Mountain State, West Virginians will soon have a choice for iGaming with the BetMGM online casino app.
That app could go live in just a few hours, which includes the BetMGM sports betting app that WV sports fans are already familiar with. In a similar fashion, WV bettors will have access to another national online sportsbook brand soon.
Why BetMGM online casino could be a welcome addition
One word: WV online slots. Currently, DraftKings Casino is the only option for West Virginia online casino players. While it has enjoyed some success without slots or video poker games, taking in over $16 million in wagers in its first few weeks, it’s fair to speculate how much more success it might have enjoyed with those popular games. DraftKings did recently release slots onto its platform, but it missed an opportunity to capitalize on the market when it had no competition.
Enter BetMGM to compete with DraftKings. BetMGM’s online casino product in other states not only features video poker games but an impressive array of slot titles as well, which has helped it grab a respectable share of that market.
Now other online casinos and sportsbooks wanting to launch in WV are under pressure. The latest developments might accelerate plans for other online casino brands as well. Flutter Entertainment, which operates FanDuel Casino and the popular PokerStars brands in other states, might look to get into the market so it doesn’t get left behind.
Online casino isn’t the only segment of the WV gambling industry set to expand, however. Both online and retail sports betting are growing as well.
The party’s back on at Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island
Months after shuttering its brick-and-mortar sportsbooks in Nitro and Wheeling, Delaware North is resuming activity at both. Mardi Gras Sportsbook will reopen tomorrow, while Wheeling Island Sportsbook will do the same on Sept. 2.
In addition, Delaware North’s online sports betting app, betly, will start taking wagers from West Virginians again on Thursday, with a new platform. It will be the first online sports bets for the two WV casinos since shuttering in March 2019 due to the BetLucky fiasco.
While that’s good news for fans of Delaware North’s brand, it may not be the biggest news of the day as far as online sports betting in West Virginia goes. William Hill is ready to take its place in the WV market.
The timeline for William Hill’s launch is currently less finite. The company plans to begin testing its product next week. That’s one of the final regulatory and technical steps to take before launch.
Soon, however, the Mountaineer Racetrack and Casino will give WV bettors access to William Hill. At this stage of the game, with three other online sportsbook brands months ahead of it, grabbing a market share will require an aggressive marketing campaign.
For that reason, WV bettors can expect some promos from William Hill on launch. WV Lottery Director John Myers said that won’t be the case with Delaware North’s relaunch, however, at least not immediately.
Very soon, the options for online gambling in the Mountain State will expand greatly. That’s great news for the gamblers in WV who these companies will compete for.