West Virginia Bets Big On March Madness As Two WV Sportsbooks Sit Out

Posted on April 3, 2019

West Virginia sports betting had an incredible week due in large part to the start of March Madness. The beginning of the NCAA basketball tournament helped the WV market post impressive showings for both overall handle and revenue for the week ending March 23.

This week’s report includes activity from March 17-23 for all five WV sportsbooks:

Unfortunately for residents and Delaware North, the three other WV sportsbooks are still not open for business. Although, they are still paying out bets resulting in negative revenue.

Delaware North who owns and operates the sportsbooks at Wheeling Island, Mardi Gras Casino and the BetLucky mobile app, recently terminated its partnership with Miomni Gaming.

Although Delaware North is trying to move forward from this tough situation, it must now find a new sports betting partner in order to get its books active again. At this point, it is unlikely BetLucky will return to West Virginia.

Even without an online option available, the WV sports betting market had a very strong showing for the week.

Total handle topped $4 million for the first time in a month. In fact, it was the highest it’s been in six weeks.

Revenue was also substantially up for the week. It reached the $700,000 mark for the first time in three weeks.

The slightly more than $773,000 generated is the most in seven weeks and the second-best showing to date. All three active sportsbooks in the state ended the week in the positive.

WV Sports Betting Summary

Here are the latest figures released by the WV Lottery Commission since WV sports betting revenue tracking began in August 2018:

  • Handle: $95,873,837.20
  • Revenue: $9,712,235.95
  • Taxes: $971,223.69

The week of March 23 was a fantastic week overall for WV sportsbooks. The overall handle grew to $4,418,970.91. This is a 55 percent increase from last week’s report.

Revenue figures also took a big jump. The total of $773,104.48 is a 248 percent increase from the previous week.

CasinoHandleMobile Sports Betting RevenueRetail Sports Betting RevenueTotal RevenueTaxes (10%)
Hollywood Casino$3,020,088.11N/A$445,625.63$445,625.63$44,562.56
Mountaineer Casino$1,122,385.05N/A$284,985.40$284,985.40$28,498.54
The Greenbrier$276,497.75N/A$65,439.00$65,439.00$6,543.90
Mardi Gras CasinoN/AN/A$-17,483.10$-17,483.10$-1,748.31
Wheeling Island HotelN/AN/A$-5,462.45$-5,462.45$-546.25
Total$4,418,970.91N/A$773,104.48$773,104.48$77,310.44

A Closer Look At WV Sports Betting Handle

Hollywood Casino led the way yet again in regards to handle for the week. The sportsbook took over $3 million in wagers for just the second time since the book opened.

Hollywood actually had a higher handle this week than the entire WV market did the week prior.

The Mountaineer Casino also had a great week. Its sportsbook brought in more than $1 million in handle for the first time ever. The more than $1.1 million is actually 31% better than its previous best mark.

The Greenbrier was impressive as well. It had its best week in terms of handle in 13 weeks. This is just the sixth time the sportsbook has taken over $200,000 in bets.

There are two main reasons why these sportsbooks probably did so well in this report:

The fact that Mardi Gras, Wheeling Island along with the online BetLucky sportsbook are still closed is a major factor.

Since WV residents were unable to just gamble from the convenience of their homes, many bettors had to get to the land-based locations still open to place wagers. These three sportsbooks should continue to see respectable betting numbers with there being so few options.

Another part of the equation is that the March Madness tournament is underway. The tournament is one of the most gambled on sporting events in the country, with more than $10 billion being wagered annually.

The opening weekend of the tournament consists of 48 games, so it makes sense that the big week for sportsbooks happened when it did.

Here’s how the WV sportsbooks rank for the weekly handle:

  1. Hollywood Casino ($3,020,088.11)
  2. Mountaineer Casino ($1,122,385.05)
  3. The Greenbrier ($276,497.75)
  4. Mardi Gras Casino ($0)
  5. Wheeling Island ($0)

WV sports betting handle since launch

A Closer Look At WV Sports Betting Revenue

For the first time in a while, the Hollywood Casino wasn’t the only sportsbook contributing to successful revenue for the week. All three active books ended up in the black.

Hollywood, of course, led the way again thanks to its massive handle. The sportsbook almost reached $500,000 for the first time in seven weeks. This is its seventh-best week since opening.

Mountaineer had itself a massive week, too. The sportsbook nearly made $300,000, earning its highest revenue to date. The $284,985.40 is 32 percent higher than its prior best.

Even though it’s on a smaller scale, The Greenbrier also had a big week. Its revenue was the highest it has been in nine weeks.

Despite not taking any new wagers, Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras paid out more than $20,000 combined from settled bets.

Similar to the handle, some of these high revenue figures are a result of March Madness.

Beyond regular game bets, a number of futures were probably placed right before the tournament, becoming strictly revenue for the casinos until the tournament ends and must be paid out.

Here’s how the WV sportsbooks rank for weekly revenue:

  1. Hollywood Casino ($445,625.63)
  2. Mountaineer Casino ($284,985.40)
  3. The Greenbrier ($65,439.00)
  4. Wheeling Island ($-5,462.45)
  5. Mardi Gras Casino ($-17,483.10)

WV sports betting revenue since launch

On the board for WV Sportsbooks

Final Four

March Madness will come to a close this weekend with the Final Four taking place in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The semifinal games will be played on Saturday evening with the championship game on Monday night.

The DraftKings Sportsbook in New Jersey has the following odds for the remaining teams to win the title:

  • Virginia +130
  • Michigan State +190
  • Texas Tech +400
  • Auburn +650

The Masters

The PGA Tour gets fully going as the opening round of the Masters Tournament tees off on April 11. The world’s best golfers will head down to Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, to see who will wear this year’s green jacket.

NJ sportsbooks list the following as favorites to win the tournament:

  • Rory McIlroy
  • Dustin Johnson
  • Jon Rahm
  • Justin Rose
  • Justin Thomas
  • Tiger Woods
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Chris Imperiale

Chris Imperiale covers sports betting and the online casino industries. He has a journalism degree from Rutgers University and was formerly on staff at Bleacher Report.

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