Online Sportsbooks Energize West Virginia Sports Betting Market

Posted on September 11, 2019 - Last Updated on September 13, 2019

It was a massive week for West Virginia sportsbooks. For the first time since February, the WV sports betting handle exceeded $4 million.

This is the Mountain State’s first revenue report that’s included data from the two newest online sportsbooks available. Both DraftKings Sportsbooks and FanDuel Sportsbook launched two weeks ago.

Their impact was felt immediately. In fact, WV’s overall handle hasn’t been this high since the beginning of February, when it hit $4.7 million. At that time, the WV market consisted of five retail sportsbooks as well as the BetLucky mobile app.

This is a very encouraging sign for online sports betting in the state and should only be a glimpse as to what’s to come in the future.

Besides having two online platforms now available, WV bettors have plenty to choose from in terms of sporting events. While this report has opening weekend college football betting action it doesn’t contain any NFL betting yet.

WVU football is the top team in the state and the most bet on, according to DraftKings. However, it is the NFL that garners most of the attention at sportsbooks. Betting figures are set to continue to grow along with the popularity of the online sportsbooks.

The increase in wagers helped boost the revenue figures, too. Sportsbooks made nearly $700,000 for the week ending Aug. 31. Even though both WV college football teams won, books were able to earn their highest revenue since March Madness.

This week’s report includes activity from Aug. 25-31 for all three active WV sportsbooks:

And of course, it also includes activity for both active WV online sportsbooks:

  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel

Mardi Gras Sportsbook and Wheeling Island Sportsbook are still closed, but are paying out bets. It will be interesting to see if either retail location re-opens in time to benefit from even part 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: $146,499,604.51
  • Revenue: $14,165,823.17
  • Taxes: $1,416,582.45

It was the best sports betting week WV has seen in some time. Handle increased 128% to total an impressive $4,494,783.75.

Revenue figures were just as strong. Sportsbooks earned $674,009.37, a 137% increase from the week prior.

WV sports betting revenue for the week ending Aug. 31, 2019

CasinoHandleMobile Sports Betting RevenueRetail Sports Betting RevenueTotal RevenueTaxes (10%)
Hollywood Casino$3,248,817.96$32,871.80$433,589.35$466,461.15$46,646.13
Mountaineer Casino$688,127.15N/A$190,283.5$190,283.5$19,028.35
The Greenbrier$557,838.64-$7,836.78$25,383.50$17,546.72$1,754.67
Mardi Gras CasinoN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Wheeling Island HotelN/AN/A-$282.00-$282.00-$28.20
Total$4,494,783.75$25,035.02$648,974.35$674,009.37$67,400.95

A closer look at WV sports betting handle

As mentioned, this week’s overall betting handle is the best it’s been in a long time. While the future of the WV sports betting market once seemed dim, there is now plenty of reason for hope.

Hollywood Casino led the way as per usual, however, this week it took the top spot by accepting more than $3.2 million in wagers. Its sportsbook’s handle hasn’t hit the $3 million mark since March.

While Mountaineer Casino didn’t do as well as Hollywood’s, its sportsbook did reach nearly $700,000 in handle. Surprisingly, Mountaineer was the only active retail sportsbook without an online option yet.

This week’s figure is a good sign that Mountaineer’s land-based book can still see a lot of traffic without a mobile app. College football’s opening Saturday probably had a lot to do with its growth in handle. It hadn’t reached $600,000 since the beginning of June.

The Greenbrier also had an incredible week. Its sportsbook took in more than $550,000 in wagers, the highest total ever for the resort.

Although this fact might be slightly skewed because The Greenbrier is a private sportsbook, there’s no denying the impact FanDuel Sportsbook has already had. The Greenbrier’s previous best week occurred in late March, when it totaled around $389,000.

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

  1. Hollywood Casino ($3,248,817.96)
  2. Mountaineer Casino ($688,127.15)
  3. The Greenbrier ($557,838.64)
  4. Mardi Gras Casino ($0)
  5. Wheeling Island ($0)

WV sports betting handle for Aug 31

Major takeaway: Online sportsbooks have an instant effect

Online sportsbooks are the most popular way to bet on sports in 2019. Nothing could have made this clearer than the speed at which FanDuel and DraftKings have impacted the WV market.

In less than a week’s time (both were not available for a full week), mobile betting apps have given a much-needed boost of energy to the industry.

While it was certain that online sportsbooks would raise the betting handle eventually, no one could have predicted that they’d help grow the market this quickly. With more bettors downloading both apps and the NFL season now underway, there’s no telling what the WV market can do.

A closer look at WV sports betting revenue

Hollywood Casino led all sportsbooks in revenue as well. Its sportsbook made more than $460,000, the most it’s earned since February.

Hollywood’s online sportsbook, DraftKings, helped add almost $33,000 in revenue. It did significantly better than FanDuel in that regard.

Mountaineer Casino finished in second with over $190,000. It hadn’t reached six figures in revenue since June.

Even though The Greenbrier had a big week in terms of handle, it didn’t generate a lot of revenue. Its sportsbook made less than $20,000 for the week.

A large part of that reason is that its mobile betting app actually lost close to $8,000. The $17,000 it did make overall was still The Greenbrier’s best showing in revenue in five weeks.

Mardi Gras Casino didn’t payout any settled wagers, while Wheeling Island lost about $300.

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

  1. Hollywood Casino ($466,461.15)
  2. Mountaineer Casino ($190,283.5)
  3. The Greenbrier ($17,546.72)
  4. Mardi Gras Casino ($0)
  5. Wheeling Island (-$282.00)

WV sports betting revenue for Aug. 31

Major takeaway: WV football responsible for lower figures

While FanDuel lost almost $8,000, DraftKings earning around $33,000 isn’t all that impressive. For how much the state’s handle increased this week, revenue figures could have been much better.

An explanation for this is simple, though. Both WV college football teams won on Saturday and more importantly, WVU backers more than likely covered the spread.

The Mountaineers were seven-point favorites right before the game, but during the week leading up their spread was as low as -5.5. Even though some bettors might have pushed with WVU’s 20-13 victory over JMU, the majority of gamblers covered the spread.

This probably explains why revenue figures weren’t higher. This following week might be a good indication of revenue potential as WVU did not come close to covering against Missouri on Saturday.

On the board for WV sportsbooks

WV football

Both the Mountaineers and Thundering Herd will be looking to bounce back after tough losses this week. WVU took a beating against Missouri, while Marshall lost a tight game at Boise State.

According to DraftKings, here are the WV teams’ odds heading into this weekend:

WVU vs. NC State

  • WVU +7 (-110)
  • NC State -7 (-110)

Marshall vs. Ohio

  • Marshall -5.5 (-110)
  • Ohio +5.5 (-110)

NFL football

The NFL heads into Week 2 after a crazy opening Sunday. The local sides didn’t fare too well, as all four teams within the WV region took a loss this week.

Here are the early-week lines for this week’s games:

Cleveland Browns vs. New York Jets

  • CLE -2.5 (-110)
    • Moneyline: -136
  • NYJ +2.5 (-110)
    • Moneyline: +112

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Seattle Seahawks

  • PIT -3.5 (-107)
    • Moneyline: -177
  • SEA +3.5 (-114)
    • Moneyline: +145

Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys

  • WAS +4.5 (-107)
    • Moneyline: +180
  • DAL -4.5 (-114)
    • Moneyline: -220

Cincinnati Bengals vs. San Francisco 49ers

  • CIN pk (-110)
    • Moneyline: -114
  • SF pk (-110)
    • Moneyline: -106
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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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