Categories: Sports

$3.4M in Sports Bets for West Virginia in First 3 Weeks

West Virginia’s sports betting industry has done well in its first three weeks of legal operations. The West Virginia Lottery Commission publishes weekly data on sportsbooks and this data showed that sportsbooks in the state accepted almost $3.4 million in wagers, with more than $1 million of that being revenue.

Trends in Sports Betting

It’s difficult to tell if the trend will continue, but the handle from week to week has only increased:

  • Week 1: (September 1-7) handle was $457,788
  • Week 2: (September 8-14) handle was $1,104,008
  • Week 3: (September 15-21) handle was $1,801,608

These updates from the Lottery Commission are helpful to see overall, but we don’t get the details like how much each sport brought in or the breakdown by sportsbook.

The president of the West Virginia Gaming & Racing Association, John Cavacini, said the early numbers being reported are “promising” and pretty much what operators expected.

Hollywood Casino

Since Hollywood Casino opened at the end of August and had the sports betting market to itself for a couple of weeks, most of the bets were placed in its William Hill sportsbook. It wasn’t until halfway through September that the sportsbook at The Greenbrier opened.

The Greenbrier

The Greenbrier opened its FanDuel sportsbook on September 14th, so only the revenue from the first eight days of its operation were included in this data. However, it does appear that handles from The Greenbrier’s first week of operation did impact the reported revenue.

Sports Betting Monopoly

Until other sportsbooks open, the FanDuel Sportsbook at The Greenbrier has pretty much a monopoly on the retail market in West Virginia. FanDuel Sportsbook will likely take control of online and mobile betting once that starts.

Tax Revenue

The state collected just over $100,000 in taxes from September’s sports betting revenue. Projections for tax revenue for the first year of operations is $5.5 million.

West Virginia Lottery Commission

Regulators are finishing up with the process of turning the state’s temporary regulations into permanent rules. This is being overseen by newly hired John Myers, the Commission’s new director who was appointed by Governor Jim Justice on September 19th. Myers was acting director from 2015 to 2017. Myers steps into the position suddenly left by Alan Larrick, who quit without explanation only two days after Hollywood Casino opened its sportsbook.

Myers’ isn’t the only position going through some turmoil; the managing general counsel, Danielle Boyd, is missing in action and is either suspended from duties or possibly even fired.

Between Larrick and Boyd, they held the most knowledge about sports betting in the state and there is some speculation that their exits from the Lottery Commission weren’t by choice. One unnamed Senator said that it’s disturbing to think that Governor Jim Justice is catering to the interests of private stakeholders.

What John Cavacini Says About Staff Changes

When asked by Legal Sports Report, Cavacini said that the staffing changes were due to “philosophical differences between the lottery staff and the governor’s office.” The differences were, according to him, relating to whether the WV sports betting framework should cater to the leagues with financial provisions going to the professional sports leagues.

Governor Jim Justice

The sports betting legislation passed in March, was without the Governor’s signature. Justice intentionally remained out of the legislation on sports betting due to his family owning The Greenbrier. Since then, he has been trying to get mandated partnerships between the casinos and leagues. Right now, there’s no legislation regarding this, and the two recently absent lottery staffers were the two most involved in rule-making enforcement.

The future of sports betting in WV is sure to be interesting: if Cavacini is right, there is bound to be some extreme tension between the legislature and the Governor.

Share
Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site.

Recent Posts

  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry

No Special Session for Maine, Sports Betting Bill on Hold Until 2020

On June 19th of this year, Maine’s proposed sports betting bill passed both legislative chambers on the last day of… Read More

July 15, 2019 3:00 pm
  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry

DC Takes a Closer Look at Intralot Betting Contract

Washington, DC is coming under scrutiny for its recent sports betting licensing procedure. The Council of the District of Columbia… Read More

July 9, 2019 11:26 pm
  • Industry
  • Sports

Sports Betting in Puerto Rico Is Just Around the Corner

Puerto Rico is falling on hard times. A major debt crisis and Hurricane Maria have devastated this territory. Sports betting… Read More

July 5, 2019 10:33 pm
  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry

Sports Betting in Indiana to Launch on September 1st

Regulators and operators in Indiana hope to open their sports betting operations on the first day permissible under the new… Read More

July 5, 2019 10:04 pm
  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry
  • UK

New UK Problem Gambling Clinic Opens Its Doors

Back in April, the UK government announced a new “National Strategy” to fight against gambling addiction. It came after numerous… Read More

June 25, 2019 1:18 am
  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry

New York’s Legislature Squashes Mobile Sports Betting

People wanting to wager on sports bets in New York will have to attend one of the four casinos and… Read More

June 21, 2019 10:43 pm