West Virginia Sports Betting

Why Did WV Sportsbooks Close? Official Documents Provide New Clues

Six weeks ago, West Virginia sports betting was dealt a big blow. Delaware North was forced to close the betting windows at its two WV sportsbooks and the state’s only mobile sports betting app.

The situation was first reported at Legal Sports Report. Since then, we have been on the search for answers.

PlayWV.com recently received documents related to the suspension of sports betting from the West Virginia Lottery as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request. WV Lottery handed over 76 pages of information, including:

  • Contracts
  • Emails
  • Applications

After reading through it, we can’t help but think that the most helpful information is probably living behind the big, black mark of redaction.

The shutdown of two WV sportsbooks and mobile betting

The shutdown included three West Virginia sportsbooks:

All three sportsbooks stopped accepting sports bets on March 6.

It was very frustrating to sports bettors in the Mountain State that both Delaware North and its sports betting supplier, Miomni remained quiet about the root cause of the shutdown. A few locals even went on record about it.

We now know the contract dispute between Enter-Gaming and Miomni is the reason for the shutdown.

Delaware North asserts it did not know about Miomni’s relationship with Enter-Gaming. In fact, the lack of disclosure by Miomni is the basis for Delaware North’s attempt to dissolve its contract with the company.

Without a mention of a third-party service provider in the unredacted portions of the contract, the documents support Delaware North’s claim.

However, there are some references to the fact that Miomni uses third-party service providers in other documents from the packet.

Specifically, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, hired by WV Lottery as a consultant, writes:

“Miomni really only does the mobile betting portion … the other segments of a deployment would need to be filled in.”

Additionally, Gaming Laboratories International, a testing and certification company, confirms to WV Lottery that Miomni’s main product is a sports betting app that works with other existing products to accept wagers.

It appears WV Lottery was also able to learn that Miomni used other providers to complete its platform. And if WV Lottery figured that out, why didn’t Delaware North?

Unfortunately, not many questions were answered including, how could a company as big and successful as Delaware North could be so unaware?

Miomni and BetLucky unlikely to return to WV sports betting

Miomni only obtained an interim management service provider license which is scheduled to expire in June. It received the application for a full license in Jan. 2019, but failed to complete and submit it.

That in itself is telling.

On March 5, one day before the shutdown, Miomni contacted WV Lottery to update the agency on the status of its application. The company was attempting to get the fingerprints of key individuals required before an application can be processed.

Then on March 14, a week after the shutdown, Delaware North received notice that WV Lottery had not received Miomni’s application and asked for their assistance.

A few days later, Delaware North notified WV Lottery of its intent to dissolve its partnership with Miomni.

Miomni’s interim license will likely be left to expire. Unsurprisingly at this point, it doesn’t appear any steps have been taken to obtain a full license.

BetLucky might be done with West Virginia, but both WV casinos will likely reopen with a new sports betting supplier. The lack of sports betting options is already taking a toll.

Truth be told, nothing earth-shattering was revealed in the documents.

It is important to note that New York-based Delaware North isn’t some mom-and-pop shop, though. It is a global hospitality company that employs over 55,000 people and has over $3.2 billion in annual revenues.

The biggest mystery still remains why the company did not fully vet Miomni prior to signing its partnership contract. And if it did vet Miomni, how was such a big piece of the puzzle missed?

Documents shed light on WV sportsbooks shutdown

Here are the documents in full:

Documents About WV Sportsbooks Closing

 

About

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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