There are some encouraging signs in the West Virginia sports betting market thanks to the return of college and NFL football. With the most gambled on sport about to make its return, the WV market is seeing a solid jump in betting handle.
Overall, the three active land-based WV sportsbooks saw another increase in total handle for the week ending Aug. 10. After a good showing a week ago, the overall handle exceeded the $2 million mark this week for the first time in two months.
The betting figures have been down for a while in the Mountain State, but it’s clear that football wagers are what is currently driving the market. Although there is no NFL team directly within the state, there are several regional teams that are popular with bettors.
Even though residents in WV enjoy the NFL, they love gambling on WVU football even more. The Mountaineers start their season in less than two weeks at home in Morgantown. They open against FCS opponent James Madison before getting into the thick of their schedule.
A lot of bettors might be skeptical, but the WV Lottery has come out again saying there is a “good chance” that a WV sports betting app will be live in time for football season.
Gamblers in the state have been without an online sportsbook since March. The return of football will help provide a boost to the WV betting industry, but it won’t be sustainable without a mobile betting option.
Residents have been waiting for one of three operators that have been approved by the state. They include:
Along with the handle improving, revenue figures were impressive as well this week. Sportsbooks earned almost $200,000 in their fourth-straight week of ending in the black.
This week’s report includes activity from Aug. 4-10 for WV sportsbooks:
Mardi Gras Sportsbook and Wheeling Island Sportsbook are still closed. It seems unlikely that either will be accepting bets by the start of the football season.
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: $137,902,439.52
- Revenue: $12,833,043.81
- Taxes: $1,283,304.50
It was another good week for the sports betting market. WV sportsbooks’ handle grew by 12%, totaling $2,146,221.23.
Revenue figures also went in the right direction. Sportsbooks made $194,544.43, a 774% increase from the previous week.
WV sports betting revenue for the week ending Aug. 10, 2019
|Casino||Handle||Mobile Sports Betting Revenue||Retail Sports Betting Revenue||Total Revenue||Taxes (10%)|
|Mardi Gras Casino||N/A||N/A||-$100.00||-$100.00||-$10.00|
|Wheeling Island Hotel||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
A Closer Look At WV Sports Betting Handle
The sports betting handle has increased in three of the last four weeks. Now that football season is almost here, it appears that futures wagers have pushed the handle back to a respectable mark.
WV accepted more than $2 million in bets for the first time since the week of June 15.
Hollywood Casino led the way as it had one of its best weeks in quite some time. Its handle topped $1.8 million for the first time since late April. This is a great sign for the WV market as Hollywood Sportsbook has been the leading driver of both handle and revenue.
Despite having a decent week, Mountaineer Casino’s handle dropped significantly. It took in around $275,000 in bets after eclipsing $400,000 the week prior.
The Greenbrier finished this week with more than $40,000 in handle. This is more than double its production from a week ago.
Here’s how the WV sportsbooks rank for weekly handle:
- Hollywood Casino ($1,827,603.88)
- Mountaineer Casino ($276,901.60)
- The Greenbrier ($41,715.75)
- Mardi Gras Casino ($0)
- Wheeling Island ($0)
Major takeaway: Football creates a major difference
It’s hard to understand what a slow betting period is until you’re truly in one. The combination of there not being many sports available to wager on, along with the lack of sportsbooks in the state truly limited WV’s handle the last few months.
One of these factors has changed.
Since football has inched closer, the state’s overall handle has continued to increase. After totaling just over $1.1 million in handle a month ago, it hasn’t dropped below $1.6 million since.
In just four weeks time, the handle has gotten back to a respectable figure above $2 million.
This is a great sign for the WV market because it shows that there are still plenty of bettors in the state looking to place wagers. It also is promising that football futures are able to raise the handle so high.
Once the football season actually starts, sportsbooks should see an even bigger handle if this trend is any implication of things to come.
A Closer Look At WV Sports Betting Revenue
It was another good week for WV sportsbooks in terms of generating revenue. They made money for the fourth consecutive week, three of which were over six figures.
Hollywood Casino grabbed its top spot back after a very poor showing last week. Its sportsbook made more than $115,000 this week.
Mountaineer Casino had a great week, too. It pulled in over $60,000 in revenue, the most it has made in six weeks.
The Greenbrier bounced back nicely as well. It earned almost $14,000 after losing over $10,000 the previous week.
Wheeling Island didn’t payout any wagers, but Mardi Gras lost $100 even.
Here’s how the WV sportsbooks rank for weekly revenue:
- Hollywood Casino ($119,714.23)
- Mountaineer Casino ($61,038.70)
- The Greenbrier ($13,891.50)
- Wheeling Island ($0)
- Mardi Gras Casino (-$100.00)
Major takeaway: An online sportsbook will change everything
It’s clear that there are enough gamblers in the state of WV looking to bet on football. If futures for the upcoming season can generate this much of a jump in handle and revenue, there’s no telling what the regular season could bring.
This is especially true if WV ever gets around to launching a new mobile betting app.
Bettors might be able to find time to visit a land-based sportsbook once before the year begins, but this probably won’t happen on a week-to-week basis once the season’s underway.
The state has to get an online option or else it will risk losing thousands every week. With Pennsylvania sports betting featuring several mobile platforms, it’s much easier for a lot of WV residents to take a trip north than it is to travel to one of only three retail books within the state.
On the board for WV Sportsbooks
It appears that the WVU faithful has bet the Mountaineers’ line up for their opening-week clash with JMU. After starting as 5.5-point favorites, DraftKings in New Jersey has the following odds for week 1:
- WVU -6.5 (-110)
- Moneyline: -265
- JMU +6.5 (-110)
- Moneyline: +210
- Over 5 (-110)
- Under5 (-110)
Check out our complete guide to College Football betting in WV here:
With the NFL season nearing as well, bettors are getting in their futures for a lot of NFL offerings. The most common is who will be this year’s Most Valuable Player. DraftKings NJ lists the following odds for 2019 league MVP:
- Patrick Mahomes +600
- Andrew Luck +900
- Aaron Rodgers +1200
- Tom Brady +1400
- Drew Brees +1400
- Carson Wentz +1400
- Baker Mayfield +1600
Check our complete guide to NFL betting in West Virginia here: