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The Boston-based company announced Tuesday it reached a licensing agreement to operate sports betting in West Virginia with Penn National Gaming, which operates Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.
“We are pleased to help welcome DraftKings to West Virginia,” said John Finamore, senior vice president of regional operations for Penn National, in a press release. “We believe the state will certainly benefit from DraftKings’ tremendous brand awareness and expertise in providing customers a quality online sports betting experience.”
There are currently no active online sportsbooks in West Virginia, but three retail WV sportsbooks are in operation. The state passed a law legalizing sports wagering earlier this year.
When DraftKings’ app launches in West Virginia, it will be the second state in which it offers an online sportsbook.
“We are thrilled to work with Penn National Gaming to bring our online sportsbook product to West Virginia,” said Matt Kalish, chief revenue officer and co-founder of DraftKings. “We look forward to serving sports fans in the Mountain State and building on the immense success we have had in leading the New Jersey market.
“With over 90 percent of sports bettors returning to play after trying DraftKings Sportsbook, we are confident we can deliver on being the best place to play for West Virginia
Competitor FanDuel Sportsbook already operates a retail sportsbook in the state, at the Greenbrier. It does not yet have a mobile app up and running there.
It appears that DraftKings Sportsbook will be a lot like the offering in New Jersey. According to DraftKings, WV will include “live, in-game betting, the opportunity to wager on major and niche international and US sports, as well as new features such as sportsbook pools for NFL, NBA and NHL.”
That makes it sound like everything bettors have access to in NJ, they’ll be able to find in West Virginia.
Bettors should be able to sign up from anywhere in the state.
The natural next step for DraftKings Sportsbook would be into the finally growing Pennsylvania sports betting market.
Penn National, of course, also has a sportsbook at its Hollywood Casino in PA and bought The Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Western PA from Pinnacle Entertainment. So there is obvious speculation that this DraftKings deal could spill over into the Keystone State.
William Hill US runs the retail operator for Hollywood in PA, so it’s likely they will be Penn National’s online presence for PA. The number of online sports betting apps in PA is more restrictive than it is in NJ and WV.
That leaves The Meadows as a possible licensing partner for DraftKings Sportsbook.