Sports West Virginia

West Virginia Sports Betting Ready To Go Back Online

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A mobile sports betting app from Boston-based DraftKings is in the works for West Virginia.

According to a report from wvmetronews.com, Penn National Gaming’s Hollywood Casino at Charles Town saw testing completed on Wednesday for a sports betting app through a partnership with DraftKings. The platform could see a soft launch next week.

The casino’s retail sports betting partner is William Hill.

It would mark the return of online sports betting to West Virginia, which ceased in March after a platform called BetLucky shuttered amid a business-to-business contract dispute. BetLucky provided internet-based sports betting through Delaware North casinos at Wheeling Island and Cross Lanes.

The DraftKings app under the Hollywood license cleared the testing, the report said.

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“We were making sure we can get the reports out of it that we need,” West Virginia Lottery Director John Myers said of the technology testing. “Making sure that we can verify the player that has the account is the one playing and to make sure the geolocation system works and those people are actually located inside the state of West Virginia.”

Online casino in the pipeline

The launch of the West Virginia platform will mark DraftKings’ third state, joining products in New Jersey and Mississippi, though in the latter online sports betting is not available statewide, but rather is confined to casino properties.

DraftKings has not secured entry into the upcoming Pennsylvania online sports betting market.

DraftKings will compete in the online sports betting space in West Virginia with the likes of FanDuel, which is partnered with Gov. Jim Justice’s Greenbrier casino.

While the state has already kicked off internet-based sports betting, online casino gaming is in the works. The governor signed an online casino bill earlier this year. Those games might not launch until early 2021.

Online casino legalization bodes well for a company like DraftKings, which offers online casino gaming in NJ.

In the meantime, the return of online sports betting to the state should boost the handle, which has been under $20 mm a month.

The state has the potential to see around $1.8 billion in annual handle, according to a 2017 U.S. casino industry study.

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