West Virginia’s first online sports betting app launched Thursday, making it the third such state with online sports gambling. New Jersey and Nevada also offer legal mobile apps for sports wagering. With online gambling and sports betting apps, West Virginia is poised for a significant boost in tax revenue.
West Virginia passed legislation earlier this year to legalize sports betting, both at commercial sportsbooks and online gambling apps. It wasn’t until May, though, that the Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on sports betting in most of the country.
After that happened, West Virginia was already in place to offer sportsbooks, which it did, starting on August 30th.
Although Delaware North casinos were the last to launch their retail sportsbooks, they were the first casinos in the state to offer online sports betting. Partnered with Miomni Gaming for sports betting services, Delaware North’s mobile and online app is named BetLucky.com.
Luisa Woods, the VP of Marketing for Delaware North’s gaming division, spoke about online betting with Legal Sports Report:
“We think West Virginians and visitors to the Mountain State are going to love how easy it is to register and use the app.”
They planned and designed for their app to be easy to use, flexible, and reliable, with added features to attract and hold U.S. sports fans.
Delaware North is an international hospitality company that runs two recently opened casinos in West Virginia: Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack and Mardi Gras Casino and Resort, in Cross Lanes. Kim Florence, who is the Regional VP and GM for both Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island, spoke with Legal Sports Report about the retail sportsbooks:
“Our patrons are going to enjoy these spaces in the casinos and everything else we have to offer in terms of hospitality and entertainment. We are eager to welcome people from throughout the state and the regions surrounding West Virginia to try a new experience at our casinos.”
Delaware North’s online sports betting app succeeded in passing its field testing in November with the West Virginia Lottery Commission.
None of the other legal sportsbook operators in the state have been cleared for online wagering. Although being the first commercial sportsbook to open in WV, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races is still awaiting approval to open up for online wagering. Hollywood does have a sports betting partner, DraftKings Inc., which will be partnered with Penn National to offer the app.
Two other commercial sportsbooks, the Mountaineer Casino and FanDuel Sportsbook at the Greenbrier, are still waiting for their approval to offer their online and mobile apps to players.
West Virginia’s Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair (R-Berkeley), expressed that the news was “excellent”, but said that West Virginia isn’t the only state to be working towards online sports betting. Sportsbook operators with online sports betting apps in Washington, D.C. and other states could eat into West Virginia’s revenue share.
This means that other operators of WV casinos should get their apps running sooner than later:
“We’re going to see this happening quickly, the sooner we can get our apps, the much better off we’re going to be.”
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