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In what has become commonplace lately, more brands have joined the familiar DraftKings and FanDuel sports gaming identity in new US states as sports wagering continues to expand. In this case, it will be BetRivers announcing a launch in early 2021 in West Virginia, where the category has gotten off to a successful start within the state in 2019.
Based in Chicago, Rush Street Interactive revealed last week they had reached an agreement with Century Casinos to launch their BetRivers online casino platform in West Virginia through BetRivers.com. According to a press release, if the online casino receives a license and is approved by the West Virginia Lottery, it could begin operation during the second quarter of 2021.
With the new deal, the BetRivers brand will start offering online gambling services in the state via a deal with Mountaineer Park, a gaming venue located in New Cumberland.
Richard Schwartz, president of Rush Street Interactive says this news comes amid their ongoing strategy to expand their operation in different states. He offered this opinion:
In Pennsylvania RSI is the clear leader in the online casino market share. This is because the state has attributes that include a player-first attitude, a large game library, innovative playing experiences and fast payouts.
Schwartz also mentioned that their partnership with Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort would offer gaming fans in West Virginia “the unparalleled experience and service our customers have come to expect via BetRivers.com.
West Virginia initially legalized sports betting during the 2018 legislative term and then became the fourth state to offer online casino wagering in the US after DraftKings Sportsbook also launched their mobile betting app in 2019. DraftKings was able to enter the West Virginia gaming market through a partnership agreement with Hollywood Casino at Charles Town.
Under their online platforms, SugarHouse.com and BetRivers.com. Rush Street Interactive operates casinos in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. RSI also has online wagering platforms in Illinois, Colorado, Indiana, and Iowa.
Beginning with its launch in September, mobile casino gaming has become quite popular and lucrative in West Virginia. For the first three months, $288.7 million has been bet on online slots and table games. Those results have earned the state $7.3 million in revenue for the operators and $1.1 million in taxes for the state.
In viewing sports betting, with only a one-year track record the state has accomplished a total handle of $239.5 million for the fiscal year 2020-21, which started in July. Of that, online accounts for $164.3 million since July. Again, indicating a strong player preference for the online gaming option
Total revenue for West Virginia’s sportsbooks is $18 million, with the state receiving $1.5 million in tax revenue.
In July, Rush Street Interactive entered into an agreement with dMY Technology Group to go public. When the transaction closes, the new entity plans on taking the Rush Street name and trade on the NYSE under the RSI ticket symbol.
Also encouraging to iGaming in West Virginia is the entry of NetEnt, one of the most well-known software providers for best online casinos. In September, NetEnt had announced they had agreed to a partnership with BetMGM Casinos to enter the market. BetMGM has an agreement in place with West Virginia’s flagship resort property, The Greenbrier in White Sulpher Springs to launch an online sportsbook and iGaming platform.
Larry Gibbs is both a seasoned journalist and a respected online gaming industry consultant. His wry commentary & sharp analysis have appeared in numerous top gaming and sports wagering publications. He has also served as Vice President of US Gaming Services, a marketing research organization with 15 years of experience in US online wagering. He has spoken at noted gaming industry conferences including G2E, GiGSE, and NCLGS.
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