As races go, West Virginia’s push to re-launch mobile sports betting has had a little bit of everything: a major false start, a year-long marathon, a 40-yard dash down the home stretch, and now, finally, a bona fide photo finish.
Last week, with football in the air, the US sports betting market’s usual suspects announced their impending online launches in the Mountain State. FanDuel and DraftKings were, as expected, running neck and neck.
But today at 6:00 am ET, FanDuel was first to cross the finish line, according to the Register-Herald. We contacted The Greenbrier this morning and can confirm West Virginia’s newest online sportsbook is now available via website and the official mobile app from FanDuel.
That said, FanDuel isn’t new to West Virginia. The company has operated a physical sportsbook at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs since September 2018, but the venue has turned only the tiniest of handles to date.
Given the exclusivity of the Casino Club at The Greenbrier, that’s no surprise. Only registered guests can wager, and rooms start at roughly $460 per night. Memberships for non-guests run about $1800 per year.
Do the math, and that leaves the average person with no money left to actually, you know, bet on sports.
Online betting, however, has no such barriers to entry. The only requirements to use the Internet-based FanDuel sportsbook are that participants must be physically located inside the state and are at least 21 years of age.
The same rules will apply to all other online operators, as well.
As such, mobile West Virginia betting should provide a massive boost for the entire industry.
In the absence of an online and mobile betting option, West Virginia’s revenue figures have been underperforming for the better part of a year. Since sports betting launched in the state last August, the industry – with limited physical availability – has generated just over $1 million for West Virginia’s tax coffers.
However, now that two of the biggest names in the game will be taking bets in time for football season, things are looking up.
While West Virginia has a long way to go before meeting industry projections of about $12 million in state tax revenue annually, the presence of the FanDuel betting app – and the imminent DraftKings app launch – make that number seem much more achievable.
Though you can expect to see a significant jump in sports betting action at FanDuel right now, the DraftKings sportsbook at the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races should fare similarly well once its online component goes live. So too should the William Hill sportsbook at the Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort, though its launch window is TBA.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Delaware North’s two West Virginia racino venues, the Mardi Gras Casino and Resort and the Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack.
Both properties are embroiled in a legal challenge with erstwhile mobile operator Miomni Gaming, and they cannot offer sports betting until that case is resolved.