It was a surprisingly good week for sports betting in West Virginia. Overall handle increased to over $1.9 million. The start of the college football season is one of the leading proponents, as bettors are getting in their futures bets for the upcoming year.
The handle reached the closest it’s been to the $2 million since WV sportsbooks pulled in more than $2.2 million for the week ending June 15.
Even though the Mountain State has only three active and legal retail sportsbooks at the moment, bettors are getting to the sportsbooks at a higher rate than usual. The handle rose about $300,000 from last week.
The state would truly start to see a jump in wagers if an online sports betting platform was available. WV residents are hoping that a mobile option becomes available before the WVU football and NFL seasons begin.
It’s possible there could be as many as two online books offered in WV soon. They are:
Additionally, William Hill has been approved to offer online betting, but there is no indication that it is moving forward at this time.
If WV doesn’t get at least one into the market before football, it’s going to lose a lot of money. Retail sportsbooks are helpful, but states need mobile apps to sustain consistent betting.
A lot of residents in the northern part of the state may choose to utilize one of the online sportsbooks in Pennsylvania. The Keystone State now offers four online options, with more on the way.
Revenue figures were in the black for the third consecutive week. However, they dropped down significantly for the week of Aug. 3. After making over $550,000 the last two weeks combined, sportsbooks were up around just $20,000.
This week’s report includes activity from July 28 – Aug. 3 for all five WV sportsbooks:
WV Sports Betting Summary
- Handle: $135,756,218.29
- Revenue: $12,638,499.38
- Taxes: $1,263,850.06
WV sportsbooks had a solid showing in comparison to recent weeks. Total handle saw an 18% increase, bringing it to $1,913,524.80.
Despite staying positive, revenue figures fell significantly. Sportsbooks made just $22,261.50, a 91% decrease from the week prior.
WV sports betting revenue for the week ending Aug. 3, 2019
|Casino||Handle||Mobile Sports Betting Revenue||Retail Sports Betting Revenue||Total Revenue||Taxes (10%)|
|Mardi Gras Casino||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Wheeling Island Hotel||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
A Closer Look At WV Sports Betting Handle
For once, the news around the overall handle for the state is positive. Sportsbooks accepted almost $2 million in wagers for the first time in seven weeks.
Hollywood Casino led the charge with nearly $1.5 million in handle alone. It was Hollywood’s best performance in seven weeks when its sportsbook pulled in almost $1.7 million in wagers.
Mountaineer Casino continued its good run. Its sportsbook topped $400,000 in handle. It is Mountaineer’s best week in seven weeks, too. The sportsbook’s handle has increased in each of the last three weeks.
Unfortunately, The Greenbrier was not able to keep up the same momentum. Its sportsbook took in around $20,000 worth of bets after totaling nearly $150,000 a week ago.
Here’s how the WV sportsbooks rank for weekly handle:
- Hollywood Casino ($1,489,662.20)
- Mountaineer Casino ($402,992.60)
- The Greenbrier ($20,870.00)
- Mardi Gras Casino ($0)
- Wheeling Island ($0)
Major takeaway: Football bets are back
The rise in handle could be the first of many to come in WV. With football nearly here, bettors are busy placing futures wagers before the college and NFL seasons begin.
Since there isn’t much else available at sportsbooks besides MLB games, this week’s jump is more than likely due to the opening wave of football bets.
Sportsbooks are hoping this trend continues throughout the year. Football is typically the most bet on sport in the US.
Betting figures should increase more as the start of the season comes even closer, but the WV market is only scratching the surface of its potential without online wagering. Until the state releases a new mobile option, even football won’t be able to get the handle to match expectations.
A Closer Look At WV Sports Betting Revenue
Although sportsbooks made money, the Mountaineer Casino was the only one to have a good week. It generated more than $33,000 in revenue. This is Mountaineer’s third-straight week of making at least $20,000.
The Hollywood Casino was the only other to end the week in the positive. Even though it avoided a terrible showing, its sportsbook managed less than $800 worth of profits. This is Hollywood’s worst week since it finished in the red for the week of July 13.
The Greenbrier lost almost $12,000 after making over $55,000 a week ago. It is the least revenue its sportsbook reported in seven weeks when it also went negative.
Both Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras Casino didn’t payout any settled bets.
Here’s how the WV sportsbooks rank for weekly revenue:
- Mountaineer Casino ($33,128.35)
- Hollywood Casino ($784.90)
- Wheeling Island ($0)
- Mardi Gras Casino ($0)
- The Greenbrier (-$11,651.75)
Major takeaway: Football season will enhance revenue
Along with the addition of an online sportsbook, the return of football should definitely help WV sportsbooks make more money.
Since football attracts a lot more wagers in general, those who typically might not bet often could find themselves gambling on a few games. The more novice bettors there are placing bets, the better for sportsbooks.
It will be tough to gauge how much football will increase the action in WV. This week’s report is a step in the right direction, but can the WV market continue to grow even without a mobile betting app?
The answer is probably no, so even though football bets are helping, the state truly needs an online sportsbook as well.
On the board for WV Sportsbooks
As the WVU Mountaineers prepare for the season in fall camp, their game against James Madison is now only weeks away. Sportsbooks have finally released a line for the team’s opening week matchup.
According to DraftKings in New Jersey, the Mountaineers are only slight favorites against their FCS opponent:
- WVU -5.5 (-110)
- Moneyline: -200
- JMU +5.5 (-110)
- Moneyline: +163
The NFL’s preseason is well underway now. Teams only have three more exhibition games before the real season starts in September.
DraftKings NJ lists the following teams as the favorites to win each conference:
- New England Patriots +320
- Kansas City Chiefs +400
- Indianapolis Colts +700
- Cleveland Browns +750
- Los Angeles Chargers +750
- Pittsburgh Steelers +1100
- Los Angeles Rams +450
- New Orleans Saints +450
- Philadelphia Eagles +550
- Chicago Bears +850
- Green Bay Packers +1000
- Dallas Cowboys +1200