West Virginia Handle Held Hostage By The Delay Of Online Sports Betting 2.0

Posted on July 17, 2019 - Last Updated on September 20, 2019

Since the Mountain State lost its only online sports betting platform, BetLucky, in March, the sports betting market has not been the same.

The constant delays plaguing the return of online sports betting to the state are keeping the sports betting market in West Virginia from reaching its potential.

As states like New Jersey have a flourishing legal sports wagering industry, WV is being left in the dust. Even the Pennsylvania sports betting market, which was late to the game, has surpassed WV.

The biggest cause for the lack of betting action is still the fact that there is not one mobile option tied to any of the land-based WV sportsbooks. It’s almost impossible to sustain a successful sports betting industry in 2019 without online sportsbooks.

Just look at the state of NJ. Even though the Garden State has 10 retail sportsbooks, more than 80% of bets accepted in the state are online.

Today’s gamblers aren’t looking to spend eight hours at the local sportsbook, they want to be able to enjoy and bet on sports from the convenience of their own home.

Online sportsbooks will be coming back to WV, eventually. When they do, residents in the state will have access to three of the best sportsbooks apps anywhere. They include:

Until these mobile options release, however, WV will continue to lag behind.

Despite the state’s total handle looking bleak, sportsbooks were once again able to generate solid revenue for the week ending July 6. They surpassed $200,000 in profits for the first time in a month.

This week’s report includes activity from June 30 – July 6 for three of the five WV sportsbooks:

Mardi Gras Sportsbook and Wheeling Island Sportsbook are still closed. They both paid out the remainder of their settled wagers the week ending June 22.

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: $129,302,467.83
  • Revenue: $12,150,112.92
  • Taxes: $1,215,011.42

It was yet another slow sports betting week in WV. The overall handle increased slightly to a total of $1,517,694.35. This was a less than a 1% rise from the week prior.

Revenue figures were up, too. Sportsbooks earned $217,764.62, a 49% increase from the previous week.

WV sports betting revenue for the week ending July 6, 2019

CasinoHandleMobile Sports Betting RevenueRetail Sports Betting RevenueTotal RevenueTaxes (10%)
Hollywood Casino$1,137,572.95N/A$186,450.27$186,450.27$18,645.03
Mountaineer Casino$282,021.90N/A$14,222.60$14,222.60$1,422.26
The Greenbrier$46,099.50N/A$17,091.75$17,091.75$1,709.18
Mardi Gras CasinoN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Wheeling Island HotelN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Total$1,517,694.35N/A$217,764.62$217,764.62$21,776.47

A Closer Look At WV Sports Betting Handle

Another week without online sports betting in WV means another week of a sluggish handle. In spite of the slight improvement from a week ago, the total handle hasn’t hit the $1.6 million mark in three consecutive weeks.

The Hollywood Casino led all sportsbooks once again. Its sportsbook took in more than $1.1 million in bets for the second-straight week after failing to do so the week ending June 22.

In fact, Hollywood’s handle was within $1,000 of last week’s total.

The Mountaineer Casino didn’t perform as well. Its handle fell nearly $70,000 from the week prior. It only amassed around $280,000 in wagers.

On the other hand, The Greenbrier had a quality showing. Its handle exceeded $45,000 for the first time in a month.

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

  1. Hollywood Casino ($1,137,572.95)
  2. Mountaineer Casino ($282,021.90)
  3. The Greenbrier ($46,099.50)
  4. Mardi Gras Casino ($0)
  5. Wheeling Island ($0)

Jul 6 sWV ports betting handle

Major takeaway: Lack of online betting limiting handle

WV needs online sports betting or else the market is going to continue to struggle. It becomes clearer every week. The rural nature of the state and the distance residents must drive in order to visit their closest sportsbook does not fit into most people’s everyday schedule.

Retail sportsbooks are fun and entertaining places to enjoy an afternoon or night of games, but it’s not somewhere people are going on a daily basis.

If the state introduced any form of mobile sports wagering, handle would jump up immediately.

With the way online sportsbooks are set up now, a lot of bettors don’t place any bets until the game actually starts, through live wagering. If those in WV had a mobile app available on their phone, many more sports fans would be inclined to casually bet more often.

A Closer Look At WV Sports Betting Revenue

Even though the betting handle in WV has been shaky, revenue figures continue to find a way into the black. This is the third-consecutive week sportsbooks have produced positive revenue after coming up short the week of June 15.

This is also the second straight time every active sportsbook in the state finished in the positive.

As per usual, the Hollywood Casino took the top spot for the week. It pulled in nearly $200,000. This is Hollywood’s best showing in five weeks.

Surprisingly, The Greenbrier overtook the Mountaineer for second place. It generated more than $17,000 for the first time in a month.

Mountaineer Sportsbook earned just over $14,000. It hasn’t reached $35,000 in revenue in five weeks.

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

  1. Hollywood Casino ($186,450.27)
  2. The Greenbrier ($17,091.75)
  3. Mountaineer Casino ($14,222.60)
  4. Wheeling Island ($0)
  5. Mardi Gras Casino ($0)

Jul 6 WV sports betting revenue

Major takeaway: Revenue figures mostly positive

Besides the revenue being extremely unpredictable each week, it has proven to be positive much more often than not. Despite the fact that there are no online platforms and the betting handle has hit a plateau, sportsbooks are fairly consistent in making money.

In the 14 weeks since April began (the first month without online wagering), only three weeks have ended in the red.

During that time, sportsbooks have netted more than $2 million.

This information goes to show the potential the state has as a whole. If each retail casino had an online sportsbook, both handle and revenue figures would have the chance to grow exponentially.

On the board for WV Sportsbooks

The Open Championship

The PGA Tour’s final major of the year tees off on Thursday as the world’s best look to concur The Open Championship. The tournament takes place at the Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland this year.

A lot of familiar names lead the list of favorites to win the title. Here are the odds according to DraftKings Sportsbook in New Jersey:

  • Rory McIlroy +950
  • Brooks Koepka +1100
  • Jon Rahm +1500
  • Dustin Johnson +1700
  • Tiger Woods +2000

NBA

The dust has seemed to finally settle following a crazy free-agency period in the NBA. With all the player movement, next season is going to look a lot different on the hardwood.

DraftKings has the following odds to win next year’s NBA Finals:

  • Los Angeles Clippers +320
  • Los Angeles Lakers +375
  • Milwaukee Bucks +600
  • Philadelphia 76ers +700
  • Houston Rockets +750
Chris Imperiale Avatar
Written by
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.

View all posts by Chris Imperiale
Privacy Policy