It was another busy week for sports betting in the Mountain State. After nearly topping $9 million in handle a week ago, West Virginia sportsbooks totaled over $8.6 million in bets this week.
The week of Jan. 11 is the second straight in which sportsbooks reached at least $8 million in handle. They failed to do so in the previous four weeks through the month of December.
This week, it was the online sports betting apps that drove the impressive handle. Online sportsbooks accepted more wagers than retail locations for the first time in two months.
The jump in betting action is due in large part to college basketball betting and the success of the WVU Mountaineers. WVU is now 15-3 to start the season and is ranked 14th in the nation.
Although there’s a lot of basketball to be played, WVU Hoops are looking poised to make a deep run in March Madness. They’re currently third in the Big 12 Conference behind only No. 3 Kansas and No. 1 overall Baylor.
This week’s report includes activity from Jan. 5-11 from these WV sportsbooks:
- Hollywood Casino Sportsbook and DraftKings WV Sportsbook
- The Greenbrier and FanDuel Sportsbook
- Mountaineer Sportsbook
WV sports betting revenue highlights
The following are the key takeaways from the Jan. 11 figures:
- Online sportsbooks reclaim top handle
- Retail earns massive revenue
- NFL futures large part of revenue
For the first time in eight weeks, online sportsbooks accepted more wagers than retail locations.
In most states with legal sports gambling, this is the norm. For whatever reason, the WV sports betting market still sees more money come through its retail sportsbooks compared to what’s bet online.
This changed for the week of Jan. 11, as the mobile betting apps took in about $1 million more than retail. In total, DraftKings and FanDuel reached a handle of $4,785,896.10, while retail books accounted for $3,826,715.94.
The big week overall can be attributed to WVU basketball as well as betting on the NFL playoffs.
WVU defeated Oklahoma State by 14 on the road and then followed that up with a 12-point win over Texas Tech in Morgantown. The two conference opponents drew plenty of attention from WVU and bettors, as the Mountaineers easily covered in both matchups.
This report also includes two days of NFL playoffs, one from the Wild Card and the first day of the Divisional Round.
Though the handle was high again, revenue figures fared even better this week. Altogether, sportsbooks generated $1,324,673.11 in profits.
The most exciting part of the revenue breakdown is that retail sportsbooks actually earned over $1 million of the total, despite having significantly less handle. Online sportsbooks made around $315,000.
This is the first time retail sportsbooks made over $1 million in revenue in 18 weeks.
NFL futures could possibly explain why the revenue was so lopsided this week.
Since futures bets like MVP or Super Bowl winner last the entire duration of the season, a lot of bettors don’t need the convenience of an online sportsbook. They can place the bet anytime during the months leading up the start of the year.
Also, in WV’s case, online sportsbooks didn’t return until the end of August. A lot of bettors could have already placed their season-long futures at one of three retail books.
If sportsbooks settled all of their NFL futures a week after the regular season, then it makes sense that retail locations saw a huge payday.
WV Sports Betting Summary
- Handle: $289,972,647.18
- Revenue: $27,917,287.93
- Taxes: $2,791,728.79
Even though sports betting figures are down from a week ago, it was still a solid week for sportsbooks. Overall handle fell 3% to total $8,612,612.04.
On the other hand, revenue was up substantially this week. Sportsbooks earned $1,324,673.11, a 47% increase from the week prior.
A Closer Look At WV Sports Betting Handle
Hollywood Casino led in terms of betting handle with its best week ever recorded. Its sportsbook nearly topped the $6 million mark for the first time as it accepted over $5.7 million in bets for the second consecutive week.
This was thanks to a fantastic week from Hollywood’s online platform, DraftKings. The online sportsbook hit $3 million in handle for the first time, with about $600,000 more in bets than last week.
This is also the first-week DraftKings’ handle exceeded Hollywood’s retail sportsbook.
The Greenbrier finished in second with over $1.8 million in wagers. Even though this figure is down from a week ago, this is the third straight week with a handle of at least $1.8 million.
Like always, The Greenbrier’s online app with FanDuel took most of the bets. Its handle of $1,749,269.41 is over 94% of the total.
The Mountaineer came in third with slightly over $840,000. This is its sportsbook’s worst showing in three weeks.
Even without an online betting app, Mountaineer has been consistent. It has accepted at least $800,000 in every week since Sept. 7. Its strong retail presence will make Mountaineer a force in the state once it launches a mobile platform.
Here’s how the WV sportsbooks rank for weekly handle:
- Hollywood Casino ($5,913,939.58)
- The Greenbrier ($1,857,490.41)
- Mountaineer Casino ($841,182.05)
- Mardi Gras Casino ($0)
- Wheeling Island ($0)
A Closer Look At WV Sports Betting Revenue
Hollywood Casino also led in regards to revenue by making more than $950,000 for the week. This is its highest week of revenue in 11 weeks, when its sportsbook earned over $1.1 million.
While Hollywood’s DraftKings app took in more wagers, its retail sportsbook generated a lot more revenue this week. It seems as though NFL futures played a significant part in the over $790,000 Hollywood’s retail made.
DraftKings pulled in around only $160,000 for the week. This was its worst performance for revenue in three weeks.
The Greenbrier was a distant second with around $200,000 in profits. Its FanDuel Sportsbook brought in over $155,000 compared to the $50,000 from retail.
Mountaineer recovered well after being in the red a week ago. Its sportsbook made over $165,000 for the week of Jan. 11. This is the third time in four weeks that it’s produced at least $100,000 in revenue.
Wheeling Island is still closed; however, it paid out $42 in settled bets.
Here’s how the WV sportsbooks rank for weekly revenue:
- Hollywood Casino ($951,617.19)
- The Greenbrier ($206,807.57)
- Mountaineer Casino ($166,290.35)
- Mardi Gras Casino ($0)
- Wheeling Island (-$42.00)
On the board for WV Sportsbooks
The Mountaineers avenged their third loss of the season by taking out their frustrations on the Texas Longhorns. WVU blew out Texas, 97-59, in front of over 12,000 fans in Morgantown.
Twelve Mountaineers scored points in the rout, including freshman walk-on Spencer Macke. His triple with 23 seconds remaining was his first career made shot in college.
WVU will look to snag its 16th win of the year on Saturday at home against Missouri. The Tigers are just 1-4 in the SEC Conference so far and should be sizable underdogs against the Mountaineers.
This break from conference play is due to the Big 12/SEC Challenge, which started in 2013.
A combined three points have decided Marshall basketball’s last two games. The Herd lost to Charlotte at home by two but bounced back with a one-point victory over ODU.
They’ll look to get their fourth conference win of the year on Wednesday night. Marshall hosts 12-6 Western Kentucky from Huntington, before traveling to WKU on Saturday to complete the home-and-home.
The matchup should be a tight one according to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index. It gives Marshall around a 53% chance of winning at home.
Super Bowl LIV
Betting on the Super Bowl is an art form. And finally, sports bettors can start examining every angle of Super Bowl LIV. The Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers were both victorious at home and claimed their conference championships on Sunday.
They’ll now share the stage for this year’s Super Bowl and what is one of the most wagered on sporting events every year.
Kansas City rode its star quarterback Patrick Mahomes to the big game. He was stellar once again this weekend, throwing for 294 yards, running for another 53, and totaling four touchdowns.
The Chiefs beat the Titans, 35-24, to reach their first Super Bowl in 50 years.
In the NFC, the 49ers raced ahead of the Packers and never looked back. Their 27-0 halftime lead allowed them to coast in the second half en route to a 17-point win.
Running back Raheem Mostert stole the show on offense, rushing for 220 yards and scoring four touchdowns.
The Super Bowl takes place on Feb. 2, at 6:30 p.m. from Miami, Florida. Here are the early odds on the big game according to both DraftKings and FanDuel: