West Virginia Online Sports Betting Handle Surpasses Retail Handle For First Time

Posted on November 22, 2019 - Last Updated on November 25, 2019

The West Virginia sports betting market is finally hitting its full potential. Since online sports betting apps have become available in the Mountain State, bettors have been very active.

Although the revenue figures for the state weren’t released last week, this week’s report has everything included.

To start the month of November, WV sportsbooks set a new record for overall betting handle in consecutive weeks. Sportsbooks topped $8 million in wagers for the first time for the week of Nov. 2. Then to follow up, they accepted more than $8.3 million in bets for the week ending Nov. 9.

During this time, online sportsbooks overtook the retail locations in terms of total betting handle. In the most recent figures for Nov. 9, retail books took almost $4.1 million in bets; however, online platforms were responsible for over $4.2 million.

This is the first time in the history of sports betting in WV that online handle eclipsed retail handle.

As for revenue, it’s been an up and down two weeks for the WV market. For the week of Nov. 2, sportsbooks took their largest weekly loss by nearly double. Sportsbooks lost over $1.4 million for the week. This broke a streak of 15 straight weeks in which they made a profit.

Although it was a week to forget for books, they did recover quite well. Even though sportsbooks didn’t make it all back, they earned more than $925,000 for the week of Nov. 9.

With college football and college basketball both ongoing right now, the sports betting industry could still be growing in WV. Fans of both WVU and Marshall love following both sports.

After two quality victories this past weekend, the Mountaineers and Thundering Herd are back on the field Saturday. WVU is looking to win its fifth game, while Marshall is searching for its sixth in a row.

This week’s report includes activity from Oct. 27 – Nov. 2 and Nov. 3 – Nov. 9 from three retail and two online WV sportsbooks:

WV sports betting revenue highlights

The following are the key takeaways from the Nov. 2 and Nov. 9 figures:

  • Online sportsbooks surpass retail in overall handle
  • Total handle continues to expand
  • WVU and Marshall football hurt revenue

It was only a matter of time until online sportsbooks beat the retail locations in terms of accepting bets. It took 11 weeks for DraftKings and FanDuel to reach that point as their handle exceeded $4.2 million for the week of Nov. 9.

While some may view this as a bad sign for retail sportsbooks, it isn’t. The overall handle for retail has been consistent since online betting apps returned.

Online handle passing retail’s is a great sign because it means that sports betting is becoming more popular across the state. It’s not just the regulars that go to the casinos, but others scattered throughout WV.

Unlike New Jersey and some other states with legalized sports gambling, WV is such a rural place that most people can’t get to the retail sportsbooks whenever they want. The growth of online figures shows that DraftKings and FanDuel are tapping into the newer bettors in the state.

It also proves that online wagering is convenient and here to stay. The NJ betting market provided a blueprint for others, and it’s clear that more people prefer wagering through a mobile app.

Online sportsbooks’ handles should continue to increase with time.

As the mobile bets continue to pour in, the state’s overall handle keeps reaching new heights. Following a one-off week that occurred a month ago, sportsbooks have now set a record for handle in three straight weeks.

Of course, the growth of online betting is a key contributor, but the current sports season is a factor. Bettors can place wagers on football, basketball, hockey, soccer, and more.

Handle may remain high after the WV college football betting season, but it doesn’t get any better than this time of year for sportsbooks.

To see the impact football has on a gambling market, look no further than the week of Nov. 2. Sportsbooks lost more than $1.4 million, and the college football results had a hand in it.

The Mountaineers easily covered as underdogs against Baylor, while the Thundering Herd did the same as favorites against Rice. Of course, other games certainly affected the state’s revenue for the week, but both WV programs covering are bad news for sportsbooks.

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: $217,491,571.58
  • Revenue: $22,003,520.06
  • Taxes: $2,200,352.01

The overall betting handle has been going up in each of the last two weeks. It grew 3% and reached $8,051,364.42 for the week of Nov. 2. Handle then increased again, jumping up 4% to total $8,349,263.80 for Nov. 9.

Revenue, on the other hand, has been a roller coaster for two weeks. Figures fell 204%, dropping to -$1,416,410.54. Sportsbooks did bounce back, though. They earned $925,106.84 the next week, which is a 165% increase.

WV sports betting revenue for the week ending Nov. 9, 2019

WV SportsbookOnline HandleRetail HandleTotal Handle Online RevenueRetail RevenueTotal Revenue
Hollywood Sportsbook + DraftKings $2,122,236.86$2,879,261.72$5,001,498.58$346,344.86$162,949.27$509,294.13
The Greenbrier + FanDuel Sportsbook$2,138,335.97$367,638.25$2,505,974.22$229,891.01$103,431.25$333,322.26
Mountaineer SportsbookN/A$841,791.00$841,791.00N/A$82,490.45$82,490.45
Mardi Gras SportsbookN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Wheeling Island SportsbookN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Total$4,260,572.83$4,088,690.97$8,349,263.80$576,235.87$348,870.97$925,106.84

A Closer Look At WV Sports Betting Handle

The breakdown of the handle shows the figures from the last two weeks combined. Hollywood Casino is comfortably in first with nearly $10 million in handle during that span.

Even though Hollywood saw its handle drop two weeks ago, betting figures exceeded $5 million this week. This is its sportsbook’s third-best week ever recorded.

Hollywood’s online platform, DraftKings, had two good weeks as well. It accepted over $2 million in bets both weeks, including its best week ever, Nov. 9.

The Greenbrier finished second for the two-week period with almost $5 million. After never hitting $2 million in handle, its sportsbook did so in back-to-back weeks.

Its sportsbook totaled over $2.2 million for Nov. 2, then bested that with more than $2.5 million. The Greenbrier’s handle has now increased in each of the last four weeks.

A lot of this success is due to The Greenbrier’s FanDuel Sportsbook. It also set new records for the past two weeks, topping $2.1 million this week.

Mountaineer comes in third with just under $1.8 million. Its lack of an online option is starting to show as its handle has become stagnant of late.

Its sportsbook totaled over $1 million in handle in mid-October, but it’s only decreased since. The $840,000 it accepted this week is Mountaineer’s lowest handle in nine weeks.

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

  1. Hollywood Casino ($9,876,610.95)
  2. The Greenbrier ($4,732,267.65)
  3. Mountaineer Casino ($1,791,749.62)
  4. Mardi Gras Casino ($0)
  5. Wheeling Island ($0)

Sports betting handle for WV

A Closer Look At WV Sports Betting Revenue

Like the handle figures, the revenue rankings consist of the last two weeks of betting in WV. While everything is accurate, the rankings are a little skewed because of the terrible week sportsbooks endured when they lost over $1.4 million.

The Mountaineer Casino holds the top spot with around $160,000. Somehow, Mountaineer managed not to lose any money when the rest of the state did.

Despite being lower than in recent weeks, Mountaineer made profits of around $80,000 in each of the last two weeks.

The Greenbrier finished second with just more than $100,000. After losing over $225,000 a week ago, its sportsbook recovered by making $330,000. This most recent week is The Greenbrier’s best in terms of generating revenue.

Hollywood Casino finished in last even behind the non-active sportsbooks because of how poorly it did the week of Nov. 2. Its sportsbook lost close to $1.3 million that week.

Even though it did much better earning more than $500,000 this week, it’s a rough showing for Hollywood. Its sportsbook previously made $1 million in three of four weeks leading up to this report.

Both Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras Casino are still closed; however, they paid out a combined $264 over the two weeks.

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

  1. Mountaineer Casino ($162,476.52)
  2. The Greenbrier ($106,833.65)
  3. Mardi Gras Casino (-$99.00)
  4. Wheeling Island (-$165.00)
  5. Hollywood Casino (-$760,349.87)

Revenue for WV sports betting

On the board for WV Sportsbooks

WV football

With the college football season coming down the stretch, every game is becoming more critical. Fresh off of two victories, both WVU and Marshall are back in action this weekend.

WVU is playing Oklahoma State, while Marshall takes on Charlotte. Here are both games’ odds provided by the two online platforms in the state, DraftKings and FanDuel:

 Spread Total Moneyline
WVU vs. Oklahoma State
DraftKingsWVU +7.559.5WVU +215
OSU -275
FanDuelWVU +759..5WVU +205
KSU -260
Marshall vs. Charlotte
DraftKingsMarshall -755.5Marshall -265
CLT +210
FanDuelMarshall -755Marshall -270
LAT +215

Odds last updated Nov. 21.

NFL Week 12

The NFL season is also eyeing the finish line. With only a few weeks remaining in the regular season, teams must start to make their moves now before it’s too late.

As Week 12 approaches, here are the betting odds on the local NFL games according to DraftKings and FanDuel:

 Spread Total Moneyline
CLE vs MIA
DraftKings SportsbookCLE -1044.5CLE -480
MIA +370
FanDuel SportsbookCLE -1144.5CLE -470
MIA +380
PIT vs CIN
DraftKingsPIT -6.539PIT -315
CIN +250
FanDuelPIT -6.538.5PIT -290
CIN +250
WAS vs DET
DraftKingsWAS +3.542.5WAS +150
DET -186
FanDuelWAS +3.541.5WAS +166
DET -194
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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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