Send Help Fast! WV Sports Betting Revenue Continues To Post Dismal Numbers

Posted on July 24, 2019 - Last Updated on September 11, 2019

After the Mountain State’s mediocre handle has been hovering around $1.5 million the last few weeks, WV sportsbooks took another step back during the week ending July 13.

Sports betting in West Virginia arguably had its worst week in the history of legal wagering in the state.

The overall handle fell more than $400,000 from the week prior, totaling just over $1.1 million. This is the third-lowest handle since legalized sports betting began in Aug. 2018.

The only two times sportsbooks accepted fewer wagers was during the first two weeks of sports betting when only Hollywood Sportsbook was accepting bets.

At least books were able to make a profit in those weeks, though. During this week, they lost more than $90,000 in revenue this week. It is the first time in a month the sportsbooks dipped into the negative.

The sluggish WV sports betting market continues to come up short of expectations because of the lack of a mobile sports betting platform.

Three mobile sportsbooks have been approved to launch in WV, it’s just a matter of when. They include:

Of course, the West Virginia Lottery and all three online sportsbooks are keeping quiet. After a few blunders in the press, it looks like the launch of a mobile app will catch WV by surprise.

With the NFL and college football seasons just around the corner, plenty of local residents are relying on having one online sportsbook to use.

If WV can’t get one on the market by the end of the summer, it’s set to lose plenty of money to the Pennsylvania sports betting market. PA already has four mobile options.

This week’s report includes activity from July 7-13 for all five WV sportsbooks:

Mardi Gras Sportsbook and Wheeling Island Sportsbook are still closed. Despite both not paying out any wagers the past two weeks, they each lost over $1,500 this week.

Their owner, Delaware North, is still in the middle of a lawsuit with its former sports betting provider, Miomni.

The software operator has recently filed a motion to dismiss the case. It appears unlikely that either sportsbook will be accepting bets anytime soon.

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: $130,412,618.03
  • Revenue: $12,059,287.62
  • Taxes: $1,205,928.88

It was a terrible week all around for sports betting in WV. Handle fell significantly, dropping 27% to a total of $1,110,150.20.

Revenue figures didn’t fare any better. Sportsbooks lost $90,825.30, a 142% decrease from the week prior.

WV sports betting revenue for the week ending July 13, 2019

CasinoHandleMobile Sports Betting RevenueRetail Sports Betting RevenueTotal RevenueTaxes (10%)
Hollywood Casino$944,319.66N/A-$70,437.89-$70,437.89-$7,043.79
Mountaineer Casino$149,013.54N/A-$6,949.76-$6,949.76-$694.98
The Greenbrier$16,817.00N/A-$10,008.50-$10,008.50-$1,000.85
Mardi Gras CasinoN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Wheeling Island HotelN/A-$1,505.85N/A-$1,505.85-$150.59
Total$1,110,150.20-$2,738.85-$88,086.45-$90,825.3-$9,082.54

A Closer Look At WV Sports Betting Handle

The WV sports betting market has reached new levels of concern. A steady decrease in total handle has been ongoing since March, when the state lost its only online sportsbook.

Now in the middle of July, with just over a month until football returns, sportsbooks are hanging on for dear life. They were able to generate just over $1.1 million in bets this week, the lowest figures reported since the second week of betting back in Sept. 2018.

Hollywood Casino led the way as always, but it had a terrible week as well. Its sportsbook failed to reach $1 million in handle for just the third time ever.

The first instance was the sportsbook’s opening week. The other occurred three weeks ago.

Even with the dominance, Hollywood has shown over the last 10 months, its sportsbook’s production is also susceptible without a mobile app.

The Mountaineer Casino had a poor performance, too. After falling below $300,000 for just the second time a week ago, its handle fell even further to less than $150,000 this week.

This handle is around half of what Mountaineer had in its first week on the market.

The Greenbrier saw a sizable decrease as well. Its sportsbook brought in just under $17,000, about $30,000 less than last week.

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

  1. Hollywood Casino ($944,319.66)
  2. Mountaineer Casino ($149,013.54)
  3. The Greenbrier ($16,817.00)
  4. Mardi Gras Casino ($0)
  5. Wheeling Island ($0)

WV sports betting handle for July 13

Major takeaway: WV sportsbooks need online by football

If the WV sports betting market is going to become a successful one, it needs to add an online sportsbook by the time football begins. The betting figures have shown over the past few weeks that WV residents would rather forgo devoting the time and energy to get to one of the few retail sportsbooks available.

The emergence of mobile options in PA hasn’t helped, either. Anyone located near the PA border is in great shape as they’re able to take a short drive over to the Keystone State to bet through one of four online sportsbooks now offered.

The PA casinos are hoping WV doesn’t get its act together in time for the start of both college and NFL football. During what is the most profitable sports betting period on the calendar, PA sportsbooks would see a lot of additional action from WV bettors without an online option.

On the other hand, WV casinos and the state, in general, would lose out on all of the action going to PA. It’s important to the WV sports betting market that WV releases an online platform in the next month.

A Closer Look At WV Sports Betting Revenue

Unlike in weeks past, the revenue figures weren’t able to overcome a bad showing from the state’s handle. Following several positive weeks where revenue was greater than $145,000, sportsbooks gave back more than $90,000 this week.

The worst part about this week is the fact that all five WV sportsbooks ended up in the red.

Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island finished at the top because they lost the least amount of money. As mentioned, their sportsbooks had a couple of weeks off, however, they both got back to paying out settled wagers this week. The two lost around a combined $3,500.

Mountaineer Casino lost nearly $7,000 after generating a profit in each of the last three weeks.

Greenbrier lost more than $10,000 following a week in which it pulled in over $17,000.

Even Hollywood Casino had a terrible time. Its sportsbook generated more than $135,000 in revenue in each of the last two weeks but lost more than $70,000 this week.

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

  1. Mardi Gras Casino ($-1,505.85)
  2. Wheeling Island ($-1,923.30)
  3. Mountaineer Casino ($-6,949.76)
  4. The Greenbrier ($-10,008.50)
  5. Hollywood Casino ($-70,437.89)

WV sports betting revenue for July 13

Major takeaway: More negative revenue weeks to come

Revenue figures have proven to be unpredictable, especially on a weekly basis. This week’s report does give us a glimpse of what to expect in the future, however.

Even though it won’t hold true every time, sportsbooks and casinos are much more vulnerable to having negative revenue weeks when the total handle remains so low.

Unless the state releases an online sportsbook expect handle to keep falling and for revenue figures to turn up negative more often than before.

On the board for WV Sportsbooks

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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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