Sports betting is almost here, West Virginia.
Penn National announced that its Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races would start taking wagers on Sept. 1.
Gaming companies Penn National and FanDuel are the first to receive sports betting permits in West Virginia. According to Legal Sports Report, the two companies received interim permits from the West Virginia Lottery on Aug. 10.
The licensing occurred one day after lottery officials approved GeoComply as a recognized geolocation service provider. For the five casinos in West Virginia, a partnership with a geolocation company is critical to remain in compliance with the law and regulations.
On Friday, both of Mardi Gras Casino and Wheeling Island Casino received their permits to move forward with sports wagering in the state.
Penn National now in pole position to offer sports betting in West Virginia
As a result of its permit, Penn National is now in the best position of any West Virginia operator to begin receiving wagers on sports. Penn owns Hollywood Casino Charles Town, which is the largest casino in the Mountain State.
Hollywood is also the nearest West Virginia property to many major cities. The Harper’s Ferry location is less than an hour’s drive from Baltimore, Md., and Washington, D.C.
Per West Virginia regulations, Penn National must pay a $100,000 licensing fee to the state. The state will also collect ten percent of revenue from the casino’s sports betting take.
Penn National also reportedly entered into an agreement with sports betting operator William Hill. The European gaming giant, which already enjoys a massive US footprint, which helped to accelerate the timeframe of Hollywood’s first sports bet.
Sports betting at The Greenbrier may happen soon, too
FanDuel also received its license to operate sports betting last week, too. The DFS titan and now-sportsbook operator has been preparing to run the sportsbook operations at The Greenbrier Resort since June.
A lottery official told the Charleston Gazette-Mail that she expects two casinos to open for business in early September (after Charles Town). Although she declined to name either casino, The Greenbrier’s partnerships with FanDuel and gaming supplier IGT make the casino a decent bet to be one of them.
Regardless, the official said that all five casinos would open their sportsbooks by mid-October. So, the race to be first in the state will largely be a moot point.
The Greenbrier will operate its sportsbook as a function of its unique position in the casino industry. The resort remains the only casino in America that operates privately.
Only members of the club or hotel guests are permitted to visit The Casino at Greenbrier. The property takes its cue from European casinos and enforces strict standards of dress and conduct.
So, one thing will be true when The Greenbrier opens its sportsbook. Its patrons will place some of the swankiest sports bets ever made.