In the 20th week of legal sports betting, West Virginia sportsbooks accepted nearly $5 million in wagers. For their efforts, they earned just over $300,000 and generated over $31,000 for the state. Not too shabby for a week’s work.
An overview of WV sports betting
WV sports betting is under the purview of the West Virginia Lottery. It oversees sports betting operations at the five WV casinos and the one mobile sports betting app that is currently live:
- Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
- Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort
- The Casino Club at The Greenbrier
- Mardi Gras Casino and Resort and its BetLucky app
- Wheeling Island Hotel and its BetLucky app
Each week, beginning on Saturday, the Lottery publishes:
- Handle (total amount wagered)
- Revenue (total amount earned after paying winners)
- Taxes (total amount generated for the state)
WV Sports Betting Summary
Here are the latest figures for the industry since WV sports betting launched in August:
- Handle: $56.1 million
- Revenue: $7.1 million
- Taxes: $712,321.20
The week beginning Jan. 12, 2019, saw a record handle figure of $4,860,952.97. It was no doubt spurred on by the NFL playoffs.
Total revenue came in at $310,758.33. That is less than half of the industry’s highest reported revenue figure. Because the week begins on Saturday, undoubtedly the revenue figure is a result of paying off the future bets placed earlier in the week prior.
WV sports betting revenue for the week beginning Jan. 12, 2019:
|Casino||Handle||Mobile Sports Betting Revenue||Retail Sports Betting Revenue||Total Revenue||Taxes (10%)|
|Mardi Gras Casino||$708,728.75||$8,533.55||$49,677.15||$58,210.7||$5,821.07|
|Wheeling Island Hotel||$551,181.07||$12,822.83||$33,741.15||$46,563.98||$4,656.4|
Looking closer at the WV sports betting numbers
It is interesting to note that the top two casinos regarding handle do not have an online sports betting app, yet.
Hollywood Casino continues to lap the competition. It accepted $2.67 million in wagers, good for a .39 percent increase over the previous week.
It accepted more sports bets than all the other WV sportsbooks, including the mobile app – combined. Let that sink in a minute.
On the other end of the spectrum, Greenbrier might be feeling the pinch of its member’s only access to its sportsbook.
It only accepted $94,985 worth of bets for the week, the lowest figure since the second week of sports betting for the private club. That number is nearly a 100 percent decline compared to the prior week.
The decline in activity might have been the driver behind the decision to open up the option for non-members to purchase access to its Super Bowl party.
Mardi Gras Casino’s 42.5 percent increase in handle week over week is also notable. It is gaining ground on second place Mountaineer.
It would not be surprising to see it catapult into second place in the coming weeks, especially since it is only one of two casinos with a mobile sports betting app.
Of course, having online betting is not a sure thing. Wheeling Casino, the other casino with online sports betting, actually saw a decline in handle of 6.67 percent over the previous week.
Yearly sports betting revenue still hard to predict
Some revenue trends are starting to emerge, and there are revenue models out there to help speculate on potential revenue numbers. We’re looking at you, Nevada and New Jersey. Even so, John Myers, WV Lottery Director told the legislature predicting what the future holds for WV sports betting is difficult.
“It’s going to be very difficult to give you a solid number for the coming year because we haven’t had a complete rollout at all the tracks yet.”
With the potential of 13 available online sportsbooks licenses left to launch, WV sports betting is definitely still in its infancy. We know two of those 13 are sports betting giants, DraftKings WV Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook.
Their impact on New Jersey sports betting has been massive. They will likely have a similar effect on the Mountain State. Myers reluctance to predict future revenue is understandable, considering how much remains unknown.
One thing is for sure, it is shaping up to be a busy and profitable 2019 for WV sportsbooks.