Following Slower October Sports Wagering in West Virginia Rebounds with 8.7% Increase
- WV sports wagering forces receive good news in November after disappointing October
- Difficult to ascertain definitive reasons for the modest increase during the month
- With room for new customer growth & football continuing, prosperous Dec. anticipated
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A bit of welcome relief was enjoyed by sports wagering forces in West Virginia as numbers in November improved after a somewhat disappointing October report.
During the month, the total sports betting handle was $48,532,442, reflecting an increase of 8.7% from October’s total of $44.6 million. By comparison, the increase is 47.2% of the total handle of $33 million in November 2019. The state’s current record for one individual month is $77 million, recorded this September.
As expected, online wagering accounted for the most significant share of the handle in November with $28.4 million, accounting for 58.5% of the action. The online handle also showed a noticeable increase in the previous month vs month and year vs year comparisons. It is curious though that the 58.5% online share is somewhat lower in comparison to what other US states have experienced for iGaming.
November’s figures were up 6.6% from October 2020, when the handle was $26.6 million. Also, this November 2020 number increased 74.8% from the previous November total of $16.3 million in sports betting revenue. November’s revenue total was $4.4 million. A 17.8% increase from October’s $3.7 million. It increased 92.5% from the November 2019 total of $2.3 million.
Different from most other states, West Virginia applies its sports wagering figures weekly instead of monthly. Therefore, the statistics posted for November reflect the period of November 1-28, with the October figures reflecting the period and weeks October 4-31.
Why the Increase
It is difficult to exactly pinpoint the reasons for the increase as they are more of speculation and opinion compared to fact.
With both the NFL and NCAA College Football in full swing during each month, it would seem an opportunity to prosper continually. Perhaps momentum was building, or some new sign-ups occurred to help generate some extra success. Also, incremental college football has been made available during November, with more college teams beginning their schedule through the long COVID-19 delays in scheduling.
West Virginia is one of four US states that offer a full suite of iGaming. An opportunity to wager upon both house-banked online casino games and peer-to-peer poker. The others are Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Nevada offers online poker. Michigan is set to enter both online markets involving casino games and poker, tentatively scheduled to begin in January.
West Virginia began iGaming this Summer. DraftKings Sportsbook partnered up with the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Racetrack to launch DraftKings Online Casino in July. Following that BetMGM and NetEnt have paired to partner with The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
With both NFL and NCAA football continuing and momentum building, along with room for new customer growth anticipated, it is expected that December’s West Virginia figures look to be promising.
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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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