And Then There Were Two: WV Online Sports Betting Welcomes DraftKings Sportsbook

Posted on August 28, 2019 - Last Updated on September 20, 2019

West Virginia has been without online sports betting for over five months. Now, DraftKings Sportsbook WV joins FanDuel Sportsbook just two days after it launched. Giving West Virginia sports bettor needed access and variety.

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With WVU football taking the field in its season opener this weekend and the NFL opening its regular season the week after, the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

Tim Dent, DraftKings chief compliance officer, told the Herald-Dispatch,

“We’re excited to be expanding into West Virginia, and we’re excited for West Virginians to have the opportunity to bet on the game this weekend between West Virginia University and James Madison.”

DraftKings was the first online sportsbook in WV to complete the testing phase. It seemed as if it was ready to launch back in April when the West Virginia lottery slowed things down based on a revised interpretation of the Wire Act.

Since then, bettors have been waiting not so patiently for news. And today, the finally got the news they wanted.

DraftKings Sportsbook betting app

As the newest West Virginia online sportsbook, DraftKings brings with it an extensive list of sports available for betting in the Mountain State. Whether you are a fan of football or cricket, basketball or darts, DraftKings has you covered.

Some states, like New Jersey, prohibit sports bets on local college games. But West Virginia doesn’t, therefore, DraftKings will not have the same restrictions. This is good news for a state that has some serious love for college football and their beloved WVU Mountaineers.

In addition to a large number of sporting events, DraftKings also offers a wide variety of betting types to choose from, including:

  • Moneylines
  • Totals
  • Parlays
  • Futures

Other exciting bet types may include in-play betting and sports betting pools. Betting pools are a hybrid of the ubiquitous office pools and fantasy sports games.

The app also has sport-specific prop bets and an early cash-out option. The early cash-out option is great because it helps limit your losses if the team you bet on is not faring well.

As you can see, there is a little something for everyone at DraftKings. And that is why sports bettors have been anxiously awaiting its arrival.

DraftKings Sportsbook in WV

In December, DraftKings signed a partnership agreement with Hollywood Casino Sportsbook.

Since then, the rumor mill went wild, first predicting a launch by Super Bowl. When that didn’t happen, the next target was March Madness. Obviously, that didn’t happen either.

Then the revised opinion of the Wire Act and the Delaware North and Miomni fiasco seemed to make the West Virginia Lottery a little nervous about moving forward with approving new online betting apps. But now, it seems, those nerves have been tamed.

Since its launch last fall, Hollywood Casino has been on top of the leader board in terms of handle and revenue.

Partnering with one of the most popular apps in New Jersey makes perfect sense. It seems likely that DraftKings and Hollywood Casino together will continue to lead the WV sports betting market.

DraftKings Sportsbook bringing experience to WV

The DraftKings Sportsbook app made its way onto the national sports betting scene when it launched in New Jersey last fall. Since then, it has positioned itself as a market leader. And until recently, it led all NJ sportsbooks in terms of handle.

Since its launch in the Garden State, DraftKings and its sports betting partner, Resorts Casino reported $65.7 million in handle, $63.6 of that coming via online sports betting.

Resorts also has a partnership with Points Bet, and it’s important to note the revenue isn’t broken out per operator. However, it seems reasonable to assume DraftKings is responsible for the lion’s share of that revenue.

DraftKings also operates the retail sportsbook at Resorts. As of now, though, it does not have plans to open a land-based book in West Virginia.

DraftKings CEO Jason Robins talked about the company’s priorities to Sports Illustrated.

“We’ve been an online and mobile company since our inception, so that’s definitely our bread and butter and that’s what we’ll focus on. Like a lot of other online and mobile companies that have expanded in the retail space, we see opportunity there. So we’re continuing to explore different ways of going about that. “

The sports betting experience DraftKings brings to West Virginia is something the state could use right now. After the sudden closure of two retail sportsbooks and the BetLucky app, sports bettors might be a little wary of getting back online.

DraftKings has a solid reputation with bettors and regulators. That reputation will prove handy to help bettors overcome their fears. Not only will it help bettors, but it will also help the sports betting market in WV finally realize its potential.

Online sports betting was just beginning to gain momentum with Mardi Gras Sportsbook and Wheeling Island Sportsbook, the two books that offered online betting though the BetLucky app. However, it never made the kind of gains the NJ market realized.

In July 2019, online sports betting handle in New Jersey accounted for nearly 94% of the total handle in the state. While it is not realistic to compare WV to NJ, it seems reasonable to think DraftKings and FanDuel will have a positive impact on the West Virginia online betting scene.

DraftKings and FanDuel might not be the first online sports betting apps in WV to launch, but they are currently the only online sports betting apps in the Mountain State. For a state as rural as West Virginia that means many bettors are back in business just in time for the busiest betting season of the year.

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Kim Yuhl

Kim Yuhl has over five years of experience writing about poker culture, the online gambling industry, and more recently, the legalization of sports betting.

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