Sports betting in West Virginia was rocked when three of six books closed their betting windows on March 7. It left WV without its only mobile sports betting option, BetLucky Sportsbook and two of five WV sportsbooks:
Since the suspension, it has been radio silence. There has been zero information other than an announcement saying it is a temporary situation.
Well, the West Virginia Lottery finally added its voice to the discussion.
In a press release, West Virginia Lottery Director John Myers said:
“We are closely monitoring the situation as the parties involved continue to work toward a solution. Discussions are ongoing and we are hopeful that an agreement between the provider and its vendor will be reached that will allow the sportsbooks at Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island to reopen soon. However, it is now apparent that wagering will not resume at these locations in time for the early rounds of the NCAA Basketball Tournament.”
WV Lottery comments on the closing of three sportsbooks
The WV Lottery isn’t telling us something we don’t already know:
“Sports wagering remains offline at Delaware North’s Mardi Gras Casino & Resort and the Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack due to on-going negotiations between their management services provider and a third-party, technology vendor.”
But what it is is telling us is that it is involved and that is important.
The statement from the WV Lottery assures:
- Sports bettors that oversight is happening
- The industry that regulations are in play
Most importantly, though, it probably calms some nerves.
WV sports bettors antsy for information
Sports bettors are anxious for information. More importantly, they want answers to their questions:
- Why did this happen?
- When will it be fixed?
- What will prevent this from happening again?
All you have to do is look at BetLucky trying to answer questions Twitter to see the level of anger rising. Obviously, the statement from WV Lottery doesn’t answer any questions.
It might make people feel a bit better that someone is watching the situation. It is unlikely, however, to ease the angst.
The pain is even greater because March Madness betting in West Virginia is underway. And while WVU didn’t make it to the tournament dance floor, there is no denying the popularity of March Madness in the sports betting world.
Unfortunately, March Madness is happening without its only mobile sports betting app and two remote casinos without other betting options nearby.
It is a good thing the WV Lottery finally spoke up. Do you know what would be better? If Delaware North, the operators of the three books, would come forward. Their customers deserve some answers.
For now, though, the WV Lottery has asked players to contact both casinos directly to ask questions and resolve issues:
- Mardi Gras Casino: 866-797-5306
- Wheeling Island Casino: 866-807-4007