Mobile wagering soon will arrive for West Virginia sports betting, according to the state’s lottery director.
John Myers told the state’s lottery commission Thursday that two casinos owned by Delaware North soon will offer mobile. Both Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island will launch retail and mobile simultaneously, according to Myers.
“We’ve completed testing Delaware North, which includes both Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island casinos on Nov. 19. Both of those locations will have the mobile app when they begin receiving wagers,” Myers said, according to WV News.
West Virginia sports betting landscape today
Those two casinos held the market to themselves for more than two months before Mountaineer Casino jumped in Nov. 21. The addition of Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island would fill out the five sports betting licenses available for West Virginia sports betting. Casinos pay a $100,000 license fee to offer legal sports betting.
Hollywood, the Greenbrier, and Mountaineer do not offer mobile sports betting. Myers told the commission Thursday that none of the three has completed required mobile testing by the state.
Revenue limited by slow rollout in West Virginia
With only two open sportsbooks through the first two-thirds of NFL and college football, revenue returns appear paltry thus far. Through the initial two weeks of November, retail-only West Virginia sports betting provided the following returns:
- Handle: $22,406,637
- Revenue: $2,732,541
- Taxes: $273,254
At that pace, West Virginia sports betting would fall far short of the $5.5 million in tax revenue forecasted before launch. The current trend would produce less than a quarter of the expected amount.
Mobile should change the game quickly in WV
That revenue forecast should brighten considerably when the Delaware North properties come online. Miomni will power the sportsbooks at both casinos.
New Jersey‘s sports betting rollout shows the template for mobile’s effect. It took only a couple of months for mobile handle to eclipse retail. In October, $175 million of New Jersey sports betting happened via online/mobile. That accounts for roughly two-thirds of all wagers taken that month in the Garden State.
Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island originally targeted October for launch, but the plan to start retail and mobile simultaneously slowed rollout.
“Our focus continues to be on opening with the full spectrum of sports betting – on-property sportsbooks at Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras and also the statewide betting app. We have completed a series of tests and are still working toward opening during football season,” said Glen White, Delaware North director of corporate communications.