A lot of regulatory bodies in disparate states release their gambling revenue totals monthly. In West Virginia, however, the WV Lottery updates these numbers for the public weekly.
That’s an easy task right now because there are only two operators in the state as far as internet gambling goes. DraftKings operates under a license held by the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races and BetMGM operating under The Greenbrier.
Reporting weeks for online casino revenue begin on Sundays and end on Saturdays. The report includes all of the following:
- Handle (the amount gamblers wagered on the app/website).
- Payouts (the amount the casino returned to gamblers in the form of winnings).
- Revenue (handle minus payouts and other credits).
- Taxes (the amount of tax that the casino paid to the state).
Online casino revenue was last updated on Oct. 5, 2020, reflecting numbers through the week ending Sept. 26, 2020. A few things to keep in mind when reviewing these numbers:
- Revenue is not simply handle minus payouts. The state affords operators other credits before assessing taxes, like administrative shares.
- Not all tax dollars go straight to the state’s general fund. WV also uses online casino tax dollars to fund pensions.
- The tax rate for aggregate revenue is 15%.
- So far, DraftKings Casino does not offer slots. That’s a huge missing component right now, which is undoubtedly holding back the performance of internet gambling in WV.
- The lottery has issued five master licenses for online casino games in WV. Each master license holder can contract with up to three service providers. So right now, only one of 15 possible options is actually live in the state.
Right now, there’s no telling when DraftKings and BetMGM will get some more competition. FanDuel has a sports betting deal with The Greenbrier, but so far, it hasn’t announced intentions to expand upon those partnerships to include online casino games.
FanDuel could choose a different master license holder for online casino gambling. It’s also possible that The Greenbrier could use its casino skins to form partnerships with other providers.
Flutter, the parent company of FanDuel, operates an internet gambling product under that name in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The company also owns PokerStars, one of the most popular online poker platforms in the world. And while legal, it may take some time before online poker in WV becomes reality.
Both BetMGM Casino and DraftKings Casino in WV currently offer:
West Virginians can access the games via desktop/mobile website or via the dedicated Android and iOS apps.
The launch of online casinos in WV has been impressive. For the sake of comparison, online casinos produced $1,397,876 in revenue over the first six days of operation in PA. DraftKings Casino, the only operator in the beginning, racked up $1,329,987 in revenue in just the first five days of operation in WV.
|Week Ending||Amount Wagered||Amount Paid Out||Revenue||Tax|
With payouts averaging about 97.7% so far, WV gamblers seem to be enjoying playing at WV casinos. The popularity of online casino gambling in WV will expand when there are more options, but for now, it’s performing respectably given the circumstances.