West Virginia Sports Betting Sees Mobile Revenue Rise

Posted on January 29, 2019 - Last Updated on February 5, 2019

In the short history of West Virginia sports betting, mobile sports betting revenue took a backseat to its retail counterpart for the two casinos that have an online app. That changed this week.

Currently, BetLucky is the only mobile sports betting app in West Virginia. It provides online sports betting for Mardi Gras Casino and Wheeling Island Hotel.

The retail sportsbooks for both casinos and the mobile app launched at the end of 2018. Since then, the online sports betting option didn’t make as much of a splash with sports bettors as it has in other states, namely New Jersey.

It appears the trend may be shifting as mobile sports betting breaks through. For the week beginning on Jan. 19, 2019, mobile sports betting revenue surpassed retail revenue by three times at both casinos.

Specifically, Mardi Gras earned $78,788.37 in mobile sports betting revenue and $22,236.60 from its retail operation. All in all, mobile sports betting accounted for 78 percent of its total revenue.

Similarly, Wheeling Island earned $44,167.71 in online sports betting revenue and $15,437.66 from its land-based sportsbook. For Wheeling Island, 74 percent of its revenue came from online sports betting.

Let’s take a closer look at what the West Virginia sports betting revenue report is telling us.

WV sports betting summary

Here are the latest figures for the industry since WV sports betting revenue tracking began in August 2018:

  • Handle: $60.2 million
  • Revenue: $7.6 million
  • Taxes: $764,304

The week of Jan. 19, 2019, saw overall handle fall by 14.3 percent to $4,167,883.12 when compared to the previous week.

Total revenue rebounded to $519,830.94. While revenue increased by 67 percent compared to last week, it is still off its all-time high of $721,631.85.

WV sports betting revenue for the week of Jan. 19, 2019:

CasinoHandleMobile Sports Betting RevenueRetail Sports Betting RevenueTotal RevenueTaxes (10%)
Hollywood Casino$2,163,799.9N/A$248,002.05$248,002.05$24,800.21
Mountaineer Casino$525,000.25N/A$37,139.80$37,139.80$7,405.88
The Greenbrier$196,924.25N/A$74,058.75 $74,058.75 $-1,523.35
Mardi Gras Casino$751,172.77$78,788.37$22,236.60$101,024.97$10,102.50
Wheeling Island Hotel$530,985.95$44,167.71$15,437.66$59,605.37$5,960.54
Total$4,167,883.12 $122,956.08$396,874.86$519,830.94 $51,983.11

A closer look at WV sports betting handle

Mardi Gras Casino and the FanDuel Sportsbook at the Greenbrier are the only two retail sportsbooks that took in more wagers this week than the week before.

The weekly sports betting report shows Greenbrier has been subject to wild swings from one week to the next. For instance last week, its handle declined by nearly 100 percent. This week it gained it all back and then some.

While Greenbrier’s numbers are like a roller coaster, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races has remained more consistent. It continues to be in the top spot and has collected more than $2 million in wagers for the week.

Hollywood Casino has remained above the $2 million mark since October 2018. It is worth noting that no other sportsbook has made it to $1 million yet.

The big mover for the week was Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort, although it moved in the wrong direction. The sportsbook gave up its second-place spot when its handle fell 36.9 percent to $525,000.20. That performance put it in fourth place behind Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island.

Here’s how the WV sportsbooks rank regarding handle:

  1. Hollywood Casino ($2,163,799.90)
  2. Mardi Gras ($751,172.77)
  3. Wheeling Island ($530,985.95)
  4. Mountaineer Casino ($525,000.25)
  5. The Greenbrier ($196,924.25)

A closer look at West Virginia sports betting revenue

A reminder that revenue is the amount of the handle a sportsbook keeps after paying out all the winning sports bets.

There are a few main reasons why revenue doesn’t necessarily line up with handle every week. Each sportsbook is responsible for setting its own lines which impacts itsrevenue.

Another impact on revenue is the payment of futures. When a sports bettor places a bet on a future event, the amount of the bet counts toward that week’s handle. The casino pays winning tickets on the event after it happens — obviously sometime in the future.

That is why handle and revenue growth are not always proportional.

Here’s how WV sportsbooks rank regarding revenue:

  1. Hollywood Casino ($248,002.05)
  2. Mardi Gras ($101,024.97)
  3. The Greenbrier ($74,058.75)
  4. Wheeling Island ($59,605.37)
  5. Mountaineer Casino ($37,139.80)

What to look for next week in WV sports betting

The next report will be for the week beginning on Jan. 27, 2019. With the Super Bowl just around the corner, expect an increase in handle. In fact, casinos are busy planning for Super Bowl parties in anticipation of the big day.

Mobile sports betting revenue has been increasing week over week. The fact that mobile sports betting revenue surpassed retail sports betting revenue is the most notable item from this week’s report. We anticipate it will keep its momentum and continue to account for a significant percentage of WV casinos’ revenue.

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Kim Yuhl

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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