Online sports betting in West Virginia is inching closer and closer to becoming a reality.
According to the WV MetroNews, the West Virginia Lottery began testing DraftKings Sportsbook this week. The DraftKings online betting app and its partner sportsbook, Hollywood Casino Sportsbook, passed its test.
The WV Lottery believes DraftKings may soft launch its app in West Virginia as early as next week.
Lottery Director John Myers commented on the successful test:
“We were making sure we can get the reports out of it that we need. Making sure that we can verify the player that has the account is the one playing and to make sure the geolocation system works and those people are actually located inside the state of West Virginia.”
What to expect from online sports betting in WV
In New Jersey, DraftKings offers:
- An extensive list of sports.
- In-game wagering.
- Sports betting pools.
- Easy deposit and withdrawal options.
We can’t assume every feature will find its way to the Mountain State, but we imagine the DraftKings’ betting app in West Virginia will look similar to the New Jersey app.
Myers commented on online sports betting apps in WV:
“They’re all going to operate in a similar manner. They’ll have different promotional activities and things they all do a little differently than the other but, in a nutshell, you’re using your cellphone to see the odds and then placing the wager on that phone.”
If DraftKings Sportsbook is first, who will be second?
In addition to DraftKings, the WV Lottery also approved two other popular sports betting apps:
William Hill provides sports betting operations to the retail books at both Mountaineer Sportsbook and Hollywood. FanDuel is the force behind the FanDuel Sportsbook at the Greenbrier.
It is likely that West Virginia will see both sportsbooks’ apps make an appearance sometime in the near future.
DraftKings, FanDuel and William Hill are currently operating online sportsbooks in New Jersey, but only FanDuel and William Hill are preparing to launch online betting in Pennsylvania.
Currently, DraftKings doesn’t have a sports betting partner in the Garden State. Knowing this, DraftKings launching first in the Mountain State makes perfect sense.
On Wednesday, Myers indicated that Mountaineer hadn’t approached the WV Lottery. And while Myers didn’t say he’s been in touch with FanDuel, he didn’t say he hasn’t, either.
What are the chances BetLucky will return to WV?
With the launch of DraftKings imminent, it is highly unlikely BetLucky Sportsbook will return to WV.
Delaware North moved to sever its ties with Miomni and its BetLucky app a month ago. The sports betting fiasco that closed Wheeling Island Sportsbook and Mardi Gras Sportsbook left a sour taste in the mouth of bettors and books alike.
And even though, each casino in WV can launch three online skins as part of its sports betting license, it is hard to imagine BetLucky would find a partnership with another casino.
For now, Delaware North is busy trying to find a new sports betting partner so it can reopen its retail sportsbooks at Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras.
Will BetLucky return to West Virginia? We wouldn’t bet on it.
DraftKings, however, is a whole different story. It has successfully pivoted from daily fantasy sports to a name synonymous with online sports betting.
West Virginia was just starting to see some momentum in online betting handle and revenue before it was forced to shut down. However, whatever momentum the state had, it will most certainly pale in comparison once DraftKings, FanDuel and other online apps launch.