In A Holding Pattern: Bettors Still Waiting For DraftKings West Virginia

Posted on June 6, 2019 - Last Updated on June 14, 2019

The West Virginia sports betting market is still without a mobile app. After several reports that DraftKings Sportsbook would launch in the Mountain State last week, WV bettors are still without an online sportsbook.

This is terribly disappointing news for residents of WV. After having online sports betting taken right out from under them a few months ago, gamblers must now patiently wait for the launch of the new DraftKings app.

WV Lottery Director John Myers said that the DraftKings app had passed all of the necessary testing two weeks ago. This week, however, Myers indicated there may be server issues at play and it could be the start of football season before online betting returns.

DraftKings has its main betting server in West Virginia. It has its wallet server, the server that keeps track of a player’s account balance in New Jersey. While no betting data will cross state lines ensuring DraftKings is in compliance with the Wire Act, it appears to be taking a cautionary approach when it comes to its wallet server.

Myers commented about the situation to Charleston Gazette-Mail:

“I don’t know that they’re 100 percent confident from their side. I have to err on the side of caution. I don’t want any West Virginia citizen or any employees here to get into trouble.”

Everything seemed to be going in the right direction and the Hollywood Casino Sportsbook even appeared on DraftKings’ partner page.

But now another week has passed and there is still no word on exactly when WV will finally have online wagering back.

The WV Lottery didn’t even release its sports-betting revenue figures for the week. It’s possible that it was also anticipating the debut of the DraftKings Sportsbook as well.

Sports betting still continues

Even though WV is dragging its feet in regards to re-opening online sports betting, the rest of the US is not.

Both Illinois and New Hampshire seem to be very close to expanding their sports-wagering regulations after lawmakers approved each state’s most recent vote.

Pennsylvania also made strides by releasing the Keystone State’s first online betting app with the SugarHouse Sportsbook.

On a larger scale, US District Court Judge Paul Barbadoro just rejected the Department of Justice’s most recent opinion on the Wire Act.

Barbadoro’s newest ruling reads:

“I hereby declare that § 1084(a) of the Wire Act… applies only to transmissions related to bets or wagers on a sporting event or contest. The 2018 OLC Opinion is set aside.”

Although it didn’t truly change anything for states with legal sports gambling (the 2011 opinion already included sports betting), the DOJ’s most recent thoughts around the Wire Act had a negative effect on several states, including WV.

States that were trying to implement new online betting platforms were extremely cautious because they were unsure how this would all work out. Even though the actual gambling is conducted within a place where it’s legal, lawmakers had concerns regarding the betting data potentially being transmitted across state lines.

This newest verdict around the act doesn’t settle everything, however, it should allow WV operators to release both online sportsbooks and online casinos with less concern going forward.

What say you, DraftKings WV?

The sportsbook operator is keeping relatively quiet about not launching in WV yet. PlayWV.com followed up with DraftKings to see what the company had to say in regards to going live in WV.

They said:

“We can confirm DraftKings has been taking part in the required testing phase. We do not have any firm date yet on next steps, including a soft launch or full public launch in West Virginia. Will keep you updated along the way.”

It appears they may be planning to construct a second wallet server for West Virginia. If so, it could be a matter of months before DraftKings goes live.

There have been some positive signs, though. A number of WV residents have taken to Twitter to relay the messages they’ve received from DraftKings while attempting to deposit funds onto the sportsbook. The majority hint that something will be happening in the near future. We can only hope.

WV sports betting FOMO

With DraftKings not launching immediately, WV sportsbooks and gamblers alike are missing out on some of the top betting action of the year. With the dog days of summer quickly approaching, sports bettors have to take advantage of some big events going on right now.

NBA Finals

The NBA Finals are knotted at one game apiece as the Toronto Raptors are all of a sudden looking like a real threat to actually win the title. The Golden State Warriors have endured several key injuries and will have to pull together in order to win their third-consecutive championship.

With the series shifting to Oakland, the DraftKings Sportsbook in NJ has the following odds to win it all:

  • Golden State Warriors -286
  • Toronto Raptors +230

Stanley Cup Finals

The NHL’s Stanley Cup Finals are just as compelling. Each team has split on its home ice as the St. Louis Blues head back to Boston for Game 5. The Bruins can take a controlling lead in the series on Thursday night in front of their home fans.

DraftKings NJ lists Boston as slight favorites while having the home-ice advantage:

  • Boston Bruins -155
  • Louis Blues +130

French Open

The French Open’s second week continues as the competition is getting much stiffer. Some quality matchups will be taking place as both the Men’s and Women’s tournaments come to a close.

With the semifinals nearly set, DraftKings has the following odds for the favorites to be crowned the champions of clay:

Men’s

  • Rafael Nadal -177
  • Novak Djokovic +280

Women’s

  • Simona Halep +135
  • Johanna Konta +375

Even though there aren’t any mobile options at the moment, there are still three retail WV sportsbooks available to take wagers. Hopefully, DraftKings will change that very soon.

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Chris Imperiale

Chris Imperiale covers sports betting and the online casino industries. He has a journalism degree from Rutgers University and was formerly on staff at Bleacher Report.

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