Finally, there is some positive news coming from the West Virginia sports betting market. After nearly two months without any online sportsbooks, the WV Lottery Commission finally approved five new licenses for companies to provide online sports betting apps within the Mountain State.
This is incredible news for both the casinos and land-based WV sportsbooks as well as the residents of the state.
Sportsbooks will officially be able to tap into the sports betting potential for revenue in WV and gamblers will have the convenience of being able to place a wager from their own home.
Among the five licenses handed out, three are going to well-respected brands in the world of legal gambling. They are each projected to release an online sports betting platform in WV as they’ve also done in New Jersey.
These three mobile sportsbooks are:
The two other licenses went to IGT and GeoComply. They will provide technical support as well as geolocation requirements for the new mobile books.
With these online options on the way, optimism surrounds the WV sports betting market.
WV mobile sports betting
Despite the buzz around this latest news, this isn’t the first time WV has had a mobile sports wagering app.
Although there was no competition at the time, the online sportsbook absolutely made a difference to the betting market. Both of BetLucky’s affiliate casinos were taking more bets and making more money while the app was still live.
Unfortunately for everyone, the mobile app wasn’t around very long. Delaware North’s technology provider, Miomni Gaming, got into a contract dispute with a third-party vendor that ended up derailing the entire operation.
Delaware North eventually cut ties with the company and has now filed a lawsuit against Miomni for fraud and breach of contract. The end result for gamblers was that the only online sportsbook in the state was suspended and now likely gone forever.
Beyond there being no mobile app, Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras Casino had to shut down their retail sportsbooks, too. This left bettors with minimal options in a rural state and the sports betting figures in WV reflect the struggle.
Back to mobile sportsbooks
The announcement of the license approvals is a major step in the right direction for the state. There has been plenty of skepticism since BetLucky went down because it was clear that getting online sportsbooks approved and regulated quickly is no simple task.
There was also the issue of how WV Lottery Director John Myers would act knowing that the Department of Justice still hadn’t really clarified its new opinion on the Wire Act.
Myers had previously stated that WV probably wouldn’t launch any new online betting platforms until the DOJ specified exactly what it meant.
“We’ve been working on the platform, how it’s set up, where its servers are located, making sure they are complying with the Wire Act. We’ve made a lot of progress there in the last few weeks. Hopefully, it won’t be as long as it has.”
Although WV sports gambling is only permitted within the borders of the state, it’s possible that some of the information transmitted from online wagering could cross state lines, thus violating the new Wire Act.
Myers and the three new sportsbooks are clearly trying to do everything in their power to stay within the law.
He spoke with the Charleston Gazette-Mail about how the decision is now with the casinos.
“They’re all approved to have them. It’s basically a decision for their corporate structures.”
New and improved mobile betting
Even though it’s been a long time coming (WV sports betting began in Aug. 2018), residents of the state will finally have some of the premier online sportsbooks available to them. Let’s take a look at the different options that will be released in the near future.
With the DraftKings Sportsbook comes one of the best online options anywhere in the country. The WV residents are going to realize what they’ve been missing within seconds of using the app.
DraftKings has every sports market imaginable, plenty of betting types to choose from and more live in-play offerings than most sportsbooks. These features plus a bunch of active promotions help separate DraftKings into the top tier of mobile sports wagering.
FanDuel is very similar to DraftKings in that it has a tremendous mobile app and one of the most popular sportsbooks in NJ. The two online books are always at the top of the leaderboard when it comes to generating revenue in the Garden State.
It’s also comparable to DraftKings because of how many different odds there are available to wager, along with variations of how you can bet.
The sportsbook is loaded with live options including:
- Alternates lines
- Game props
There are also a lot of daily promotions bettors can take full advantage of.
William Hill Sportsbook
The William Hill Sportsbook is affiliated with both the Hollywood Casino as well as the Mountaineer Sportsbook. William Hill is a recognized giant in the sports betting world from the United Kingdom to Las Vegas.
Mountaineer’s owner, Eldorado Resorts, formed a partnership in Sept. with William Hill to operate its retail and mobile sportsbook.
Along with the other two sportsbooks coming to WV, William Hill is a great online sports betting option. Its mobile sportsbooks service several casinos in NJ and help bring in plenty of money for the state.
Like the other two, William Hill prides itself on having an abundance of lines to wager on. The sportsbook has a variety of odds for every sport and game available.
All three mobile apps are also incredibly easy to use. They all have simplistic layouts and are organized so well that navigating through the website or app is never an issue.