There will be sports betting at all five casinos in West Virginia. According to John Cavacini, President of the West Virginia Racing Association, the Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort filed for its sports betting license.
Cavacini, who spoke to PlayWV via email, indicated that the property aims to launch by Nov. 15. Interestingly, Mountaineer may launch retail and mobile sports betting operations concurrently.
The plans of the last WV casino
The application ends what has been a somewhat odd reticence on the part of the New Cumberland casino resort. By contrast, the other four casinos in West Virginia have all been making positive moves towards sports betting in the past two months.
Until recently, the only movement that the Mountaineer or its parent company, Eldorado Resorts, had made towards sports betting was a partnership between the latter and William Hill.
The Mountaineer’s application actually falls more in line with reports from the West Virginia Lottery, which oversees sports betting in the state. Lottery officials have been estimating that all five casinos would open sportsbooks in 2018 for quite a while.
Meanwhile, there is a race for mobile sports betting
Cavacini confirmed that William Hill will assist Mountaineer with bringing its operations to life. As it happens, there is now a five-way race in the state to be the first casino with a mobile sports betting app.
William Hill has partnerships with both Eldorado Resorts and Penn National. Penn National owns Hollywood Casino, so mobile apps from both Mountaineer and Hollywood will feature a William Hill platform.
Mardi Gras Casino and Wheeling Island may launch one app or two via Miomni. Two weeks ago, the parent company of both casinos, Delaware North, unveiled a partnership with the software provider.
Finally, daily fantasy sports and sports betting titan FanDuel administers the Casino Club at Greenbrier’s sportsbook. Naturally, the company will handle the resort’s mobile app, too.
However, according to Cavacini, all five properties are struggling with technical issues of some sort. At this point, it’s impossible to tell who will solve them first.
Mobile sports betting is critical for West Virginia due to its geography and relative lack of population. All five casinos are somewhat out of the way for larger cities. This fact is particularly true in the cases of the Greenbrier and Mardi Gras Casino.
So, visitors will have the ability to cross marginally across the border and place a wager. This flexibility will be more inviting for people in neighboring states. As such, a mobile app will likely be a boon for whatever casinos can cross the finish line first.