DraftKings Casino In West Virginia Makes A Royal Entry, Even Without Online Slots

Posted on July 23, 2020 - Last Updated on July 31, 2020

The first five days with an online casino in West Virginia were quite impressive.

DraftKings Casino launched in WV on July 15, and from then until July 20, the returns were worthy of a royal reception.

While nearly $8 million in total wagers over the first five days is impressive, the potential for more still exists. That’s because the platform still lacks one of the most popular game types, online slots.

Eye-popping numbers for the first few days of online casino in WV

WV Lottery Director John Myers had the pleasure of sharing the good news this week. From July 15 to 20, people in WV wagered $7,979,923 on DraftKings Casino.

DraftKings returned $7,819,330, or almost 98% of the total bets, back to gamblers in payouts during that period. That left $160,379 in taxable revenue. The state collected over $24,000 from that amount.

To get a good understanding of the success DraftKings has had so far, context is necessary. In the first six days of online slot play in Pennsylvania, for example, online gaming produced $1,397,876 per day in gross revenue for operators.

Daily gross revenue for DraftKings in WV over its first five days amounted to $1,329,987.

While the first six days of PA online slots didn’t happen during a viral pandemic that has incentivized gamblers to play from the safety of their homes, it’s also true that PA has a larger and more dense population than WV.

There’s no debating that the launch of DraftKings Casino was solid. The potential for more could be literally at WV gamblers’ fingertips soon.

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A greater volume of games should lead to even more handle

In online gaming, the most effective way to keep customers engaged is to offer an array of games that have continuous renewals. Right now, there are two ways that DraftKings could diversify in WV.

First, DraftKings only offers table games with only one type of poker game, three-card poker, on its platform. The most popular variety of online poker is five-card draw-style games, so adding that to the app could create a lot of new accounts.

Secondly, while there are not currently any slots in WV, the variety of slot games DraftKings offers in other markets isn’t on par with other platforms yet. These are a very popular option but also the greatest area of need when it comes to the constant turnover of new games.

Time is of the essence for DraftKings, not only in terms of capturing the greatest amount of wagers in the current market, but in taking advantage of its status as the only operator in WV right now. Other companies, like BetMGM, FanDuel Casino and PokerStars, may not be far behind.

MGM already has a relationship with The Greenbrier for sports betting, so it might expand that relationship to include an online casino as well. FanDuel, which also takes sports wagers online in WV under The Greenbrier’s license, is owned by the same parent company as PokerStars. That may serve as an inroad as well since WV online casino law allows master license holders three online casino skins.

DraftKings has some work to do to realize its full potential in WV, but the start looks promising. With these kinds of numbers, it won’t be long before it has competition.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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