The first two weeks of November saw the West Virginia sports betting market take a step backwards. Now, a record-breaking third week of revenue has vaulted the state’s two sportsbooks right back into the black.
In fact, West Virginia sportsbooks reported revenues of $555,706.25 in the week of Nov. 17. This figure is the largest revenue figure since sports betting kicked off in the Mountain State in early September.
The record take managed to offset losses that had occurred over the first two weeks in November. The sportsbooks at Hollywood Casino Charles Town and the Greenbrier Resort lost over $400,000 between Nov. 3 and Nov. 16.
Now, West Virginia shows a modest profit for its efforts during the eleventh month of the year. However, a deeper dive into the numbers reveals some other truths about the market.
So far, Hollywood is driving the bus
The disparity between the activity and returns at the two West Virginia sportsbooks is quite stark. The two really don’t compare to one another in terms of volume.
Hollywood Casino Charles Town is the largest casino in the state, and its sportsbook is following suit. The returns from the casino’s sports betting operation represent the bulk of the state’s sportsbook revenues.
So, the loss that West Virginia showed in the first week of November came despite a small gain at the Greenbrier. The activities at America’s only private casino only generated roughly $10k in revenue, far short of the $220k deficit at its Charles Town competitor.
On the other hand, the overall gains for November come from Hollywood Casino Charles Town, too. In fact, the Greenbrier has actually lost $8,100 for November 2018.
The launch of the other three should change the equation
This week’s report is the last to feature just two West Virginia sportsbooks, however. The Nov. 21 launch of the William Hill Sportsbook at Mountaineer Casino will shift the overall picture for Mountain State sports betting.
The Mountaineer is located in the very northernmost tip of West Virginia. As such, the casino is quite remote from the rest of West Virginia.
However, the Mountaineer is also less than 50 miles from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and its 300,000 residents. So, depending on how things progress at Rivers Casino, some Pittsburgh residents may decide to drive west if they want to bet on sports.
The other two casinos in West Virginia, Mardi Gras Casino and Wheeling Island, should be up and running with their own sportsbooks soon. Their parent company, Delaware North, has informed the state that there is a delay in the launches, but it’s only a matter of time until there are five sportsbooks in the Mountain State.
Once that occurs, Hollywood’s iron grip on the market will likely weaken. People will begin to play at the casino closest to them.
All five casinos also have the ability to launch an online sportsbook, though it is unclear how many will do so. If the situation in New Jersey is any guide, it’s possible that the online market may end up larger than the land-based one.
So, although the revenue numbers so far are fascinating, it’s likely that they will change dramatically in short order. Stay tuned.