As Expected, West Virginia Sports Betting Handle Suffers A Huge Setback

Written By Chris Imperiale on April 3, 2020

It was clear that the suspension and cancellation of basically every major sport played in the US would have a major impact on West Virginia sportsbooks. That reality came to light this week as the revenue figures from the first week without sports were released.

The overall betting handle in the Mountain State fell below $1 million for the week of March 21. Sportsbooks accepted over $13 million in wagers over the first two weeks of the month.

Even without online sports betting apps, the overall handle hasn’t dropped below $1 million since the inaugural week of legal sports betting in WV, in Sept. 2018.

This week’s report includes activity from March 15-21 from these WV sportsbooks:

WV sports betting revenue highlights

The following are the key takeaways from the March 21 figures:

  • Overall handle disappears
  • Online wagering more important than ever
  • NFL Draft could boost figures

Of course, WV sportsbooks knew they were going to accept fewer bets following the stoppage of nearly every American sport. However, it’s not clear if they anticipated betting figures reducing this much so quickly.

The overall handle dropped below $1 million for the first time since sports betting first became legal in the state. It was only three weeks ago that sportsbooks set a new record with a total of over $10.7 million in handle.

With the spread of COVID-19 affecting most of Europe, too, every popular soccer league is shut down.

One of the only leagues continuing action on the field is soccer in Belarus. There are also odds available for things like Moscow table tennis as well as Taiwan basketball.

Unless bettors decide to do a lot research or are just wagering for the sake of it, most Americans probably won’t be putting money down on these sports.

Fortunately, the 2020 NFL Draft is this month and should garner even more attention than usual. While betting on the draft has been an option in the past, it’s possible that the 2020 edition could see a lot of bets with nothing else going on.

With no other live sports to tune into, the NFL can expect more viewers in general, and that could mean a lot more casual bets than the draft typically generates.

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: $370,298,992.13
  • Revenue: $29,803,765.84
  • Taxes: $2,980,376.58

Handle reached just $877,302.64, an 81% decrease from the week prior.

Revenue figures increased, though. Sportsbooks earned $20,298.09, a 108% increase from a week ago.

WV sports betting revenue for the week ending March 21, 2020

WV SportsbookOnline HandleRetail HandleTotal HandleOnline RevenueRetail RevenueTotal Revenue
Hollywood Sportsbook + DraftKings $724,050.33$22,878.05$746,928.38$84,082.06-$72,076.14$12,005.92
The Greenbrier + FanDuel Sportsbook$128,794.26$20.00$128,814.26$29,895.07-$158.50$29,736.57
Mountaineer SportsbookN/A$1,560.00$1,560.00N/A-$19,977.15-$19,977.15
Wheeling Island SportsbookN/AN/AN/AN/A-$483.14-$483.14
Mardi Gras SportsbookN/AN/AN/AN/A-$984.11-$984.11

A Closer Look At WV Sports Betting Handle

The weekly handle figures look much different than they normally do. Hollywood Casino still leads the group, however, it accepted only around $745,000 in bets.

This is the first time Hollywood’s handle hasn’t reached at least $1 million since July 2019. At that time, its DraftKings app had not launched yet.

If there’s a silver lining, it’s that the online sportsbook still saw over $700,000 in bets. This outperformed the other mobile platforms in the state by a wide margin.

The Greenbrier managed just over $125,000 in handle for the week. This is the first time its sportsbook has fallen below $1 million since Sept. 2019.

Of course, its online betting apps accounted for the majority of wagers but combined they only took in less than $130,000. Three weeks ago, FanDuel and BetMGM saw over $5.5 million in handle.

Mountaineer Casino finished third with about $1,500. The retail casino was not open very long to accept wagers.

Both Mardi Gras Casino and Wheeling Island closed their doors prior to receiving any new bets for the week. Unless these casinos release an online app in the near future, they won’t be seeing any sports bets for a period of time.

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

  1. Hollywood Casino ($746,928.38)
  2. The Greenbrier ($128,814.26)
  3. Mountaineer Casino ($1,560.00)
  4. Mardi Gras Casino ($0)
  5. Wheeling Island ($0)

sports betting handle in Wes Virginia

A Closer Look At WV Sports Betting Revenue

Although revenue figures improved from last week, they still weren’t very good. The Greenbrier led the way by making almost $30,000.

While it’s not a massive figure, this was a solid recovery for its sportsbook after losing more than $30,000 last week.

Hollywood also recovered from a week in the red by generating about $12,000 in revenue. This figure would have been a lot larger overall, but Hollywood’s retail book actually lost over $72,000. DraftKings Sportsbook earned around $84,000 for the week.

The three retail casinos without mobile apps all lost money. Mardi Gras Casino and Wheeling Island combined to lose close to $1,500, while Mountaineer lost nearly $20,000.

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

  1. The Greenbrier ($29,736.57)
  2. Hollywood Casino ($12,005.92)
  3. Wheeling Island (-$483.14)
  4. Mardi Gras Casino (-$984.11)
  5. Mountaineer Casino (-$19,977.15)

sports betting revenue in West Virginia

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On the board for WV Sportsbooks

Even though most sports won’t play for the foreseeable future, online sportsbooks still have some betting odds available. Unless you’re into Belarus soccer, the most exciting lines involve NFL betting.

You’re able to place wagers on various futures for next season, along with the upcoming NFL Draft. Despite most leagues delaying just about everything, the NFL still plans to hold its draft on April 23-25 as scheduled.

Even though it appears that LSU quarterback Joe Burrow will be selected with the top pick, there are plenty of other unknowns in the first round.

One of the biggest questions is where will standout Ohio State defensive end Chase Young be taken? He’s good enough to be the top selection, but with the need for quarterbacks so high, it’s possible he drops a little.

DraftKings currently features the following odds for which team will draft Young:

  • Washington Redskins -335
  • Detroit Lions +275
  • New York Giants +1400
  • Miami Dolphins +1600
  • Cincinnati Bengals +2000
Chris Imperiale Avatar
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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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