The West Virginia sports betting market hit its stride in January 2020, having its best month in terms of accepting wagers. WV sportsbooks reached over $8.5 million in handle in every week of the month.
Prior to January, the Mountain State only featured three weeks with the handle exceeding $8 million. Even with college football and NFL betting coming to a close, sportsbooks were able to consistently bring in wagers.
In total, books accepted $35,398,396.38 in sports bets last month.
While the state has been slower than others in transitioning to online betting, the first month of 2020 showed a significant change. The WV online sports betting apps saw a major increase in betting action and outperformed the retail sportsbooks in three out of four weeks.
Although this isn’t quite the 88% of the handle that online books in New Jersey garner, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
The betting apps accepted over $5 million combined for the first time ever in each of the last two weeks of the month.
As far as revenue is concerned, WV sportsbooks did fairly well, too. They generated more than $2.2 million in revenue for the month. Despite taking more wagers, online sportsbooks earned slightly less than retail locations.
Let’s take a closer look at the January betting figures and preview what’s ahead in the next few months on the sports betting calendar.
West Virginia sports betting handle
Sportsbooks in WV turned a corner in the month of January. They had their best month to date, and one of the most consistent as well.
Books accepted at least $8.6 million every week, including over $8.9 million in three of them.
Overall handle was about $5 million higher than it was in the previous month. December betting figures totaled $30,342,333.39.
In comparison to a year ago, overall handle took a massive jump. Sportsbooks accepted $17,808,456.82 in January 2019. The over $35 million in 2020 is a 99% increase.
Hollywood Casino led the way by a sizable amount. Its sportsbook took in almost $23 million in bets for the month.
Although Hollywood previously accepted more than $5 million in a week, it never reached $5.9 million before January. Its book topped $5.9 twice in the month.
Part of the improvement is due to more wagers being placed on its mobile betting app, DraftKings. The online sportsbook took over $11 million in wagers and beat its retail book in terms of handle the final three weeks of the month.
The Greenbrier finished in a distant second, however, its sportsbook’s handle exceeded $9 million. It pulled in over $2 million in three of four weeks, including a new best for the week of Jan. 25, with around $2.9 million.
Unlike Hollywood, The Greenbrier gets the majority of its betting handle from its online app, FanDuel. It was responsible for about $8.4 million, or 91% of the total.
Mountaineer Casino finished last among active sportsbooks with just shy of $3.2 million. Its lack of a mobile betting platform has limited its handle production.
After exceeding the $1 million mark three times in the previous five weeks, it failed to do so in January.
Here’s how the WV sportsbooks rank for monthly handle:
- Hollywood Casino ($22,907,915.00)
- The Greenbrier ($9,300,561.86)
- Mountaineer Casino ($3,189,919.52)
- Mardi Gras Casino ($0)
- Wheeling Island ($0)
Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island reopened their betting windows just before the Super Bowl. Their figures will be represented in our next report.
WV sportsbooks revenue
Thanks to a big month of betting, sportsbooks earned plenty of money in January as well. Despite losing about $240,000 for the week of Jan. 25, sportsbooks still made more than $2.2 million in the month.
The week of Jan. 11 was their best week in January and one of the most profitable they’ve ever had. Sportsbooks earned over $1.3 million in revenue.
While this was a quality month, it didn’t surpass the revenue made in December. Books earned about $100,000 more in the month prior, with $2,322,915.00.
Of course, revenue figures are much more sporadic and sometimes less telling than the handle, but this January was much better than last. The over $2.2 million is a 175% jump in revenue compared to the $802,167.45 earned in 2019.
Hollywood Casino also led in regards to revenue. Its sportsbook made over $1.6 million in the month.
Even with being in the red for Jan. 25, Hollywood earned substantially more than any other WV sportsbook. Its best week was Jan. 11 when it made more than $950,000.
Hollywood’s retail book and DraftKings split the month evenly, with each coming out on top twice. Overall, the retail sportsbook earned close to $300,000 more in the month.
The Greenbrier had a disappointing showing in January for revenue. Its sportsbook made around $350,000.
While it earned more than $200,000 in each of the first two weeks, The Greenbrier lost money the last two.
Similar to its handle breakdown, FanDuel provides most of the revenue, too. The mobile betting app accounted for about $300,000.
Mountaineer’s sportsbook came in last with close to $230,000 for the month. It also lost money in two of the four weeks.
Here’s how the WV sportsbooks rank for monthly revenue:
- Hollywood Casino ($1,626,341.77)
- The Greenbrier ($348,950.81)
- Mountaineer Casino ($227,938.32)
- Mardi Gras Casino ($0)
- Wheeling Island (-$42.00)
Sports betting going forward
Even with college football and the NFL in the rearview, there are a lot of exciting months ahead for bettors.
Luckily for football fans, there is still an option to place wagers. The XFL debuted this weekend and appears to be here for the long run.
Basketball fans have several ways to bet as well. The NBA is approaching its All-Star Game and March Madness is just about a month away for college teams.
The WVU Mountaineers basketball team is a lock to make the tournament and could even have a Final Four run in them. They’re currently ranked 14th in the nation.
A lot of other sports have big events coming up, too. The NHL playoffs are a few months away, while NASCAR, golf and tennis are now in full swing.
With a lot of sports to choose from and a new online sportsbook in the mix, February could be a big month in the WV sports betting market.