WV Sportsbooks Cheering The Return Of Online Sports Betting & WVU Football

Written By Chris Imperiale on September 4, 2019 - Last Updated on March 23, 2023

There hasn’t been this much excitement in the West Virginia sports betting market since the state introduced regulated legal sportsbooks a year ago. Now as the Mountain State heads into year two, residents have multiple online sports betting apps available to them just as football season arrives.

With both FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbooks live in WV, bettors are finally able to experience legal sports gambling the right way. Instead of only having a few retail WV sportsbooks to place wagers, gamblers can now bet on sports right from their mobile device.

Even though these online sportsbooks have officially launched, their data is not included in the revenue report just yet. The information from this report includes betting action through the week of Aug. 24.

Fortunately, the WV market has taken an optimistic turn even without the online sportsbooks. The return of betting on college football as well as NFL betting has increased the state’s betting handle fairly significantly in the past few weeks.

With WVU football now in full swing, sportsbooks should be busy through the winter. As more people download and experience the online options, betting handle in WV should only continue to grow.

Although it didn’t increase from a week ago, the total handle for the state reached a respectable figure just under $2 million.

Sportsbooks were able to generate a lot of revenue as well. For the sixth consecutive time, books ended the week in the black, pulling in more than $280,000.

While betting action is absolutely up, revenue figures may seem a little skewed because so many bettors are placing season-long futures at this point in the summer. All of this money is considered revenue now, however, it could turn into a loss for sportsbooks by the end of the season.

This may not be an issue if online platforms help expand the market, though. Bettors should be excited about both mobile options that just launched, but there’s actually more to go still. There are reports that the William Hill Sportsbook will also be going live in WV sometime soon.

This week’s report includes activity from Aug. 18-24 for all five WV sportsbooks:

Mardi Gras Sportsbook and Wheeling Island Sportsbook are still closed. It will be interesting to see if either re-opens in time to benefit from any part of the football season.

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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: $142,004,820.76
  • Revenue: $13,491,813.80
  • Taxes: $1,349,181.50

It was another quality week for sports betting in WV. Even though the handle decreased 7%, sportsbooks still accepted $1,972,581.82 in wagers.

Revenue figures were quite similar. Despite dropping 24% from the week prior, sportsbooks made $284,627.42 for the week ending Aug. 24.

WV sports betting revenue for the week ending Aug. 24, 2019

CasinoHandleMobile Sports Betting RevenueRetail Sports Betting RevenueTotal RevenueTaxes (10%)
Hollywood Casino$1,593,117.82N/A$192,241.27$192,241.27$19,224.13
Mountaineer Casino$334,335.75N/A$77,118.70$77,118.70$7,711.87
The Greenbrier$45,128.25N/A$15,907.00$15,907.00$1,590.70
Mardi Gras CasinoN/AN/A-$630.00-$630.00-$63.00
Wheeling Island HotelN/AN/A-$9.55-$9.55-$0.96

A Closer Look At WV Sports Betting Handle

WV sportsbooks continued their resurgence with another solid week. Thanks to plenty of football wagers, the state accepted almost $2 million in the overall betting handle.

Hollywood Casino led the way as per usual. Although it easily outpaced the other active sportsbooks in the state, it didn’t have a particularly great week.

This is now the third-straight week that Hollywood’s handle declined.

Mountaineer Casino finished in second for the week, taking in more than $330,000 in sports bets. This is its sportsbook’s best performance in three weeks.

The Greenbrier added just over $45,000 in wagers. This is its highest handle in a month.

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

  1. Hollywood Casino ($1,593,117.82)
  2. Mountaineer Casino ($334,335.75)
  3. The Greenbrier ($45,128.25)
  4. Mardi Gras Casino ($0)
  5. Wheeling Island ($0)

WV sports betting handle for Aug. 24

Major takeaway: WVU football important for handle

It’s rare that one team or sport could change the betting industry for an entire state, but WVU football could have that effect on the WV market. While we won’t see just exactly how much the team is able to generate in bets until next week, it will be interesting to keep an eye on for the duration of the 2019 season.

If the Mountaineers are good, or even just competitive all year long, then betting action will likely continue to grow. Bettors will also tend to wager more on a team that is going to earn them a profit.

If WVU is able to simply cover the spread more often than not, WV residents will likely return to the sportsbooks every week to take their side.

Depending on when you took WVU this weekend, that was the case. The Mountaineers beat James Madison 20-13 to open the year on Saturday. While some may have pushed with a -7 spread, those who got their bets in early would have won when the spread was as low as Mountaineers -5.5.

A Closer Look At WV Sports Betting Revenue

All three active sportsbooks in WV were able to turn a profit this week. The WV market has now generated a positive revenue for the last month and a half.

Hollywood Casino leads this category as well, earning almost $200,000 this week. Its sportsbook has now made at least six figures in each of the last three weeks.

Mountaineer Casino wasn’t far behind, totaling nearly $80,000 in revenue. This is its best showing in 11 weeks.

The Greenbrier made around $16,000 for the week. This is its sportbook’s highest revenue yield in a month.

Wheeling Island and the Mardi Gras Casino had to pay out around $600 in settled wagers.

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

  1. Hollywood Casino ($192,241.27)
  2. Mountaineer Casino ($77,118.70)
  3. The Greenbrier ($15,907.00)
  4. Wheeling Island (-$9.55)
  5. Mardi Gras Casino (-$630.00)

WV sports betting handle for Aug. 24

Major takeaway: Online betting should increase revenue

Although it’s almost impossible to predict how revenue figures will appear each week, online sportsbooks will certainly only help the state.

While betting from your cell phone creates convenience and endless opportunities to live bet on games, it also makes it a lot easier to place more casual wagers.

Of course, there’s no telling how one single wager will play out, but gamblers are much more inclined to put a couple of dollars on something with long odds just because it provides a chance to win a big payout.

Even though these sorts of bets are placed at retail sportsbooks currently, more will likely be bet on as these new online sportsbooks become more popular.

Both FanDuel and WV DraftKings Sportsbook offer a lot of various props and futures that have odds around +1000. A lot of bettors probably wouldn’t take a trip to their land-based sportsbook to place this bet, but now that the option is right in their hands, it’s possible these types of wagers increase going forward.

On the board for WV Sportsbooks

West Virginia college football

It was a successful first week of college football in WV. Both the Mountaineers and Thundering Herd came out of the opening weekend victorious with their fans wanting more.

As each team heads into Week 2, the competition gets much stronger. Both WV programs were favorites in their first game, but now they are each sizable underdogs heading into their next matchup.

According to DraftKings, here are the teams’ odds for their second game of the season:

WVU vs. Missouri

  • WVU +14 (-110)
  • Missouri -14 (-110)

Marshall vs. Boise State

  • Marshall +12 (-129)
  • Boise State -12 (+105)

NFL football

If the college football season wasn’t enough to get you excited, then the return of the NFL should do it. Pro football kicks off on Thursday night with the long-time rivalry between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears.

The remainder of teams play this Sunday, with a few Monday night matchups as well.

DraftKings has the following odds on some of the local teams playing their season opener:

Cleveland Browns vs. Tennessee Titans

  • CLE -5.5 (-110)
    • Moneyline: -240
  • TEN +5.5 (-110)
    • Moneyline: +195

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New England Patriots

  • PIT +5.5 (-110)
    • Moneyline: +190
  • NE -5.5 (-110)
    • Moneyline: -235

Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles

  • WAS +9.5 (-110)
    • Moneyline: +325
  • PHI -9.5 (-110)
    • Moneyline: -420

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Seattle Seahawks

  • CIN +9 (-110)
    • Moneyline: +320
  • SEA -9 (-110)
    • Moneyline: -420
Chris Imperiale Avatar
Written by
Chris Imperiale

Chris Imperiale is currently the Managing Editor of Catena Media's US online lottery site, PlayiLottery. He used to be the Managing Editor of PlayWV, covering the sports betting and online casino industries in the Mountain State. He has a journalism degree from Rutgers University and was formerly on staff at Bleacher Report.

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