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West Virginia sports betting had its grand opening on Saturday at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.
And the total amount wagered on the first Saturday of college football season: about $340,000, according to an official from the state lottery, which oversees sports betting in the state.
Hollywood had planned for some time to go live with sports betting on Saturday. But the casino’s sports betting soft launch came a few days earlier.
But with little run-up, Saturday was the bigger deal for WV sports betting.
While the college football season had actually started a few days earlier, the bulk of the first week’s slate of games came Saturday. And that included West Virginia University’s opener against Tennessee. (The Mountaineers ended up winning.)
By firsthand accounts, lots of people attended the grand opening:
— mix1073DC (@mix1073DC) September 1, 2018
All those people wagered several hundred thousand dollars. Much of that handle, anecdotally, came on the West Virginia game and futures bets on the Mountaineers.
There is much more to come in West Virginia.
The state’s four other casinos will also launch wagering this fall with their own retail sportsbooks.
And that doesn’t count online and mobile wagering, which should also be in WV in the not-to-distant future. New Jersey joined Nevada with mobile and online wagering in August. FanDuel Sportsbook went online this weekend, and will eventually do the same in West Virginia.
Also of note: The director of the WV Lottery resigned just as sports betting started.