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At a meeting this week by the West Virginia Lottery Commission, members noted that sports betting had seen an increase in August due to the beginning of the college football season and the relaunch of online sports betting at two casinos in the state.
For more on betting in West Virginia read our guide on “How to Bet on Sports Online in West Virginia.”
Revenue figures from sports betting for the state’s casinos totaled $153,000 for August.
“We saw the initial bump that we expected in sports wagering at the time football season started up,” said Lottery Director John Myers. “And we brought the mobile app on the very same time.”
In West Virginia, casinos pay a 10 percent tax on adjusted gross wagering receipts. As such, the state brought in roughly $70,000 in revenue from sports betting.
As of the end of August, the adjusted gross came in at $1.5 million, a figure that even Lottery Director Myers admitted was underwhelming.
However, Myers feels that a full year of football with online betting will increase revenue totals for the Fall.
“We do expect it to grow as more people are educated on how to get on and do the signup,” Myers said. The FanDuels and DraftKings of the world are doing a lot of advertising and things that educate.”
William Clayton, vice chairman of the West Virginia Lottery Commission told fellow members that he believes that sports betting revenue will rise over the next fiscal year.
“(Sports wagering) didn’t get big until football season kicked in,” Clayton said. “And again, we’ve only had that app up for three (weeks) of that four.”
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One of the reasons for the sluggish revenue figures is that the state had to stop, then restart their mobile betting offering due to a problem with the original operator.
Delaware North, the chief operating company of two of West Virginia’s casinos that were offering sports betting had to pull the plug when the casino found out that Miomni, the company providing the mobile app failed to disclose a conflict of interest with a subcontractor for the app.
As a result, Delaware North had to cut off the use of Miomni’s app in their casinos, leaving the state without a mobile app provider.
When asked recently if Delaware North was close to choosing a new mobile app operator, the company declined to get specific with the commission.
“No, other than for them to tell me that they are continuing to work on it and they’re hoping that it won’t be as long as it has been,” Myers told commission members.
If Delaware North could reach an agreement on a mobile app provider, it would increase the state’s revenue figures as more customers gained access to a betting app.
As it stands, bettors in West Virginia have access to two casinos with sports betting app privileges.
FanDuel runs the online app and sportsbook for the Greenbrier Resort Casino and DraftKings partners on the app and sportsbook side with the Hollywood Casino in Jefferson County.
Although football season should increase revenue, until all the casinos eligible for online betting are operating at full strength, the commission won’t know how large the tax revenue base will be for sports betting in West Virginia.
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