West Virginia Casinos In Holding Pattern As They Prepare To Reopen Post COVID-19

Posted on April 20, 2020

The health precautions taken nationwide have impacted so many individuals as well as businesses across the US. None might be feeling the negative ramifications more than retail casinos and sportsbooks.

Like the majority of them around the country, West Virginia casinos closed their doors on March 17. WV Gov. Jim Justice made an announcement that night that the executive order would go into effect at midnight.

Now a month later, even though there are rumblings of reopening the country, there still isn’t an end in sight. None of the major sports leagues have started playing again and most states have a stay-at-home order in place.

While gambling might not be the most important thing, the Mountain State is certainly losing money during this trying time. It’s almost guaranteed that the state budget will be negatively impacted by the COVID-19 shutdown.

Casino and sportsbook revenue have both been almost completely cut off the last month.

Unfortunately, WV doesn’t feature any online casino betting apps at the moment. While the law has passed in the state, casinos haven’t been able to submit for a mobile application yet.

On a positive note, online sportsbooks in WV are still open for betting. Even though there aren’t many sports currently playing, the apps do have plenty of options available for bettors to bet on right now.

No one really knows when normalcy will resume in the US, but the casinos in the state are prepared for when the time comes.

WV Coronavirus Update

Every US resident is looking forward to things getting back to normal, but it’s very difficult to say when that will be. Both the government officials, as well as Gov. Justice, addressed the public Thursday, discussing health guidelines moving forward.

At the moment, there’s been no change in regards to WV’s stay-home order. It remains in effect until further notice.

WV residents might view this as a bad sign, but overall, the state is doing much better than others.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that he decided to extend the state’s shelter-in-place order until at least May 15. NY has been one of the most affected areas in the country.

While New Yorkers might be a ways out from returning to work, WV could be a lot closer.

It’s been reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 32,000 people in the US, and over 142,000 worldwide.

Fortunately, WV is only a small part of that tragic figure. The state has 739 total positive cases and 13 resident deaths since tracking began.

The Mountain State was the last one in the US to report a confirmed case of coronavirus. If things don’t get any worse in the near future, it could be one of the first to get back to normal.

In its daily briefing, the coronavirus task force talked about the “Opening up America Again” guidelines.

“Some states will open sooner than others. Some states are not in the kind of trouble that others are in. Now that we have passed the peak in new cases, we’re starting our life again. We’re starting rejuvenation of our economy again in a safe and structured and very responsible fashion.”

Hopefully, this means that WV is on the cusp of opening businesses back up with residents going back to work.

WV Casinos Get Ready For Reopening

Some businesses eager to return are casinos and sportsbooks. A large number of establishments that feature Limited Video Lottery games are also among those looking to reopen.

Every retail casino in WV posted an update regarding their status during this time. You can find information for each of them through either their websites or social media pages.

All of them are working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to determine their plans of action. They are focused on opening their doors in the safest way possible.

President and CEO of Penn National Gaming, Jay Snowden, released a statement in regards to the steps Hollywood Casino has been taking. Snowden said:

“The health and well-being of our guests and team members will always be our paramount concern. Since the coronavirus threat began, we have implemented stringent CDC-recommended protocols throughout our enterprise, including increased daily cleaning regimens, maximizing air circulation, cancelling or postponing all live events, and we’re in the process of reducing the number of chairs at our dining facilities, table games and poker rooms, as well as the number of slot machines in play at any one time, to increase social distancing, among other initiatives.”

Although every WV casino is excited to start accepting wagers again, it won’t be an easy process. They will each have to rehire a lot of staff members, as well as ensure their facilities are cleaned and free of any toxins.

Many of these casinos and sportsbooks have tried to help their employees by continuing to pay and provide benefits. However, casinos could only afford to do this for a certain period of time.

Once they’ve all reopened, thousands of WV residents will have jobs and start receiving a regular paycheck again.

WV Online Sportsbooks

Gamblers in WV have limited betting options at the moment, but there are still three online sports betting apps. They include:

While a typical April would feature plenty to bet on, only a few markets remain due to the sports stoppage.

A lot of bettors are ready for next week’s NFL Draft. The event will take place between April 23-25.

Sportsbooks offer a wide variety of draft bets, including some interesting props. DraftKings actually has one specifically for Mr. Irrelevant, also known as the final pick of the draft.

DraftKings lists odds for you to decide which position the last selection plays. The online sportsbook currently shows the following odds:

  • Offense -121
  • Defense +100
  • Kicker/Punter/Long Snapper +1400
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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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