Just a few months after the launch of its sports betting operations, the troubled partnership appears to be over.
A statement from Delaware North to the West Virginia Lottery said it is seeking to sever ties with Miomni.
“We have notified the West Virginia Lottery Commission that Delaware North is taking steps to terminate its partnership with Miomni Gaming, our management services provider in West Virginia.
“Since March 6, Miomni’s contract dispute with third-party technology supplier Entergaming has resulted in our inability to accept new sports wagers at our Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras casino sports-betting operations as well as via the BetLucky.com mobile app.”
Silence as WV sportsbooks shuttered
Sports betting at the two WV sportsbooks and the only WV mobile sports betting app shut down in early-March without any explanation. It left players wondering what had happened and when, if ever, they would reopen.
Only after some investigative reporting by Legal Sports Report did the truth begin to emerge.
A letter from Delaware North to the WV Lottery, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, stated that the closure stemmed from a conflict over intellectual property between Miomni and Entergaming, a European software firm.
Delaware North claims not to have known about the intellectual property conflict prior to signing the contract with Miomni.
According to Delaware North President E. Brian Hansberry, Entergaming discontinued service to Miomni in February due to possible improper usage.
Miomni, counters, that it had acquired all the required rights to operate the platform.
However, Miomni failed to inform Delaware North about the service termination. Additionally, Delaware North claims Miomni did not disclose its reliance on Entergaming’s platform, as contractually required.
Miomni and Entergaming continue to disagree on the legalities of the issue.
Entergaming claims that Miomni did not acquire the correct rights to use Entergaming’s platform. Entergaming also claims that there are additional breaches of contract.
Miomni, on the other hand, has indicated that Entergaming improperly closed the platform and that Entergaming’s request for payment is inappropriate.
It is unknown if either company will face regulatory consequences as a result of the abrupt closure.
Impact on West Virginia sports betting
Miomni Gaming’s dispute with Entergaming is not without consequence for West Virginia.
In the first full week without the mobile app and two books, the total amount wagered in the state fell below $3 million for the first time in 5 months.
To be expected, handle rebounded heading into March Madness, but players surely felt the lack of a mobile sports betting option.
What’s more, Wheeling Island, Mardi Gras and BetLucky had to sit out one of the most popular sports betting events of the year.
It doesn’t look good for a state that wants to claim a leadership role as sports betting discussions heat up around the county.
There may not be a quick fix to reinstating sports betting at the two closed books, much less online sports betting. Delaware North is most likely seeking other partners to get sports betting up and running again.
The approval process, however, may be slow ahead of the clarification on the newly-revised Wire Act opinion.
In its statement, Delaware North said,
“We are evaluating all options to once again provide sports wagering services, and we want our customers to know that identifying and implementing a solution could take several months or longer,”
Meanwhile, DraftKings sportsbook is awaiting regulatory approval. Speculation abounds with approval rumored to be soon.
Support for WV sports bettors
Delaware North offered some information for players who hold online or paper betting slips. The company will honor those bets while it is in the process of opening sports betting again.
“We are continuing to honor and redeem all resulted bets and providing our customers with detailed information about how they can access their accounts and withdraw their funds.”
Until the issue is solved, those holding winning wagers can email the casino for support or call 1-866-807-4007.