West Virginia Sportsbooks See Uptick In Wagers Thanks To WVU Hoops & College Football Bowl Season

Written By Chris Imperiale on January 16, 2020
Sports betting handle and revenue for West Virginia for Jan. 4

The West Virginia sports betting market took a positive turn in the last two weeks. After the overall betting handle fell three consecutive weeks, WV sportsbooks saw a sizable increase in wagers in the last two.

Sportsbooks accepted over $7.7 million in bets for the week of Dec. 28. To follow that up, they took in nearly $9 million the next week.

It appeared as though the conclusion of the college football regular season had a lot to do with the decline in wagers. There was no longer a large slate of games available and more importantly, the 2019 WVU football team hit the locker room for the last time.

Fortunately for sportsbooks, the college football bowl season and the exciting WVU hoops season seems to be making up for it.

Now that the LSU Tigers have won the college football National Championship, bettors in the Mountain State can focus strictly on college basketball betting. The Mountaineers are ranked 12th in the nation and are looking like a strong contender to make a deep run in March Madness.

This week’s report includes activity from Dec. 22-28 and Dec. 29 – Jan. 4 from these WV sportsbooks:

WV sports betting revenue highlights

The following are the key takeaways from the Dec. 28 and Jan. 4 figures:

  • Overall handle jumps back up
  • Retail still outdoing online sportsbooks
  • WVU basketball limited revenue

The biggest takeaway from the last few weeks is that the total betting handle has significantly increased. Since peaking around $9.5 million for the week of Nov. 30, the overall handle had dropped three straight weeks.

Sportsbooks accepting over $7.7 million for the week of Dec. 28 was encouraging enough, however, the handle’s jump the following week was even more impressive. The more than $8.9 million in handle is the second highest it’s ever been in WV.

In fact, this is only the fourth time that sportsbooks accepted over $8 million in wagers.

As mentioned, the college football bowl season had a lot to do with the rise in betting.

Several big games including both CFP semifinals took place on Saturday, Dec. 28. These along with four marquee matchups on New Years Day certainly helped boost the number of wagers at sportsbooks.

Even though betting was up these last two weeks, online sportsbooks still cannot outperform retail.

Despite DraftKings and FanDuel accepting over $4.3 million in handle for the week of Jan. 4, they still came in second. This is the second-highest number of bets mobile sports betting apps have accepted and just the third time they’ve exceeded $4 million in handle.

Retail locations have now generated more handle than mobile for seven consecutive weeks.

As far as revenue is concerned, sportsbooks had a very profitable two weeks. In total, they earned over $725,000 for the week of Dec. 28 and then around $900,000 for Jan. 4.

This most recent week is the most revenue the WV market has made in two months.

While sportsbooks will be pleased with this performance, it could have been even better if not for the WVU basketball team. The Mountaineers defeated Ohio State outright as five-point underdogs and then proceeded to cover on the road against Kansas.

With the amount of wagers WVU garners in the state, sportsbooks could have seen their profits soar even higher if those two outcomes were different.

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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: $281,360,035.14
  • Revenue: $26,592,614.82
  • Taxes: $2,659,261.48

It was two busy weeks for sports betting in WV. Overall, handle reached $7,750,938.29 for the week of Dec. 28, a 9% increase from the previous week. The action increased the next week, rising 15% and totaling $8,907,041.08.

Revenue figures were strong, too. Sportsbooks earned $728,492.40 on Dec. 28, a 4% uptick from the week prior. Then for the week of Jan. 4, books generated $902,230.61, a 24% jump from a week ago.

A Closer Look At WV Sports Betting Handle

Hollywood Casino is at the top once again with an impressive eight-figure handle. Hollywood had a solid week for Dec. 28 accepting over $4.8 million in bets and it followed that up with one of its best weeks ever for Jan. 4.

Hollywood Sportsbook totaled more than $5.7 million in handle — its second-best showing to date. This was just the seventh time Hollywood has exceeded $5 million in wagers.

While its retail location beat out its partner, DraftKings’ online app both weeks, the online sportsbook did have its second-best week. The over $2.4 million in handle was less than $90,000 away from setting a new mark.

The Greenbrier finished in second with slightly over $4 million in wagers for the two weeks. Its sportsbook’s handle hit more than $2.2 million for the first time in five weeks.

Unlike Hollywood, The Greenbrier’s online app, FanDuel Sportsbook, took in the majority of the bets. In fact, the mobile app accounted for around 87% of the total handle.

For Jan. 4, FanDuel accepted over $1.9 million in bets, its highest handle in five weeks. The Greenbrier’s retail did well, too, earning more than $300,000 for the first time in five weeks.

Mountaineer Casino finished last among active books with just under $2 million in handle. Even without an online sportsbook, it accepted over $1 million in wagers for Dec. 28. This was the third time it’s surpassed $1 million in the last five weeks.

It followed that up with another good week, coming up just short of seven figures.

Here’s how the WV sportsbooks rank for weekly handle for the two weeks ending Jan. 4:

  1. Hollywood Casino ($10,559,598.45)
  2. The Greenbrier ($4,117,565.67)
  3. Mountaineer Casino ($1,980,815.25)
  4. Mardi Gras Casino ($0)
  5. Wheeling Island ($0)

wv sports betting handle for jan 4

A Closer Look At WV Sports Betting Revenue

Hollywood Casino also led the way in regards to generating revenue. Its sportsbook earned more than $1 million for the duration of the two-week period.

The $680,000 the book made for the week of Jan. 4 was Hollywood’s highest in 10 weeks.

While DraftKings had success, Hollywood’s retail location earned more both weeks. It made around $170,000 for the first week and then over $440,000 for Jan. 4.

DraftKings did generate more than $235,000 this past week, its best performance for revenue in two months.

The Greenbrier came in second with almost $400,000. Its online platform with FanDuel earned around $99,000 for the week of Dec. 28 and then over $210,000 the next week.

Although its retail sportsbook didn’t accept too many wagers, it still managed to make nearly $65,000 in revenue for Dec. 28. This was its best showing in five weeks.

Mountaineer Casino had two very different weeks. It earned around $230,000 the first week, then proceeded to lose over $5,000 the next. This is the second time in a month that its sportsbook has been in the red.

On a positive note, the $230,000 in revenue was its best mark in 16 weeks.

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

  1. Hollywood Casino ($1,015,654.79)
  2. The Greenbrier ($390,786.72)
  3. Mountaineer Casino ($224,281.50)
  4. Wheeling Island ($0)
  5. Mardi Gras Casino ($0)

WV sports betting revenue for Jan 4

On the board for WV Sportsbooks

WV Basketball

The WVU Mountaineers basketball team continues to roll in the Big 12 Conference. Since losing to Kansas by a small margin, they’ve won three straight conference games and now sit with a 14-2 record overall.

Their latest win came in a blowout fashion as they took down the TCU Horned Frogs by 32 points at home in Morgantown. The Mountaineers appear to be firing on all cylinders as they enter the heart of their schedule.

WVU’s next game will be this Saturday on the road at Kansas State. It will most likely be sizable favorites again, as the Wildcats are only 7-9 on the season.

In Huntington, Marshall basketball is having an up-and-down year. The Herd defeated Middle Tennessee on the road last Thursday but then dropped their next game against UAB.

Marshall will look to improve on its 8-9 record as it hosts Charlotte on Thursday and Old Dominion this weekend.

NFL Conference Championships

With the college season complete, there are only three football games remaining to close out the season. The NFL enters its Championship Weekend with two very interesting matchups:

  • Sunday, Jan. 19 at 3:05 p.m. ET: AFC Championship game – Tennessee Titans vs. Kansas City Chiefs
  • Sunday, Jan. 19 at 6:40 p.m. ET: NFC Championship game – Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers

Betting on the NFL earns the majority of bets in most markets, this weekend will be no different as the teams heading to Super Bowl LIV are revealed.

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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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