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The ongoing outage for WV sports betting will cost sportsbooks one of the year’s most popular sports wagering events.
The West Virginia Lottery issued a statement on the contract dispute affecting Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island casinos Wednesday. In it, WV Lottery Director John Myers made clear the problems involving operator Delaware North and platform provider Miomni are far from over, and will affect March Madness betting.
“We are closely monitoring the situation as the parties involved continue to work toward a solution. Discussions are ongoing and we are hopeful that an agreement between the provider and its vendor will be reached that will allow the sportsbooks at Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island to reopen soon.
However, it is now apparent that wagering will not resume at these locations in time for the early rounds of the NCAA Basketball Tournament.”
The first weekend of March Madness betting gets underway Thursday and runs through Sunday evening. The Sweet 16 then starts the following Thursday, which might be the new hopeful restart date for WV sports betting.
After today’s lottery meeting, Myers spoke with WV MetroNews and expounded on the WV sports betting problems:
Myers said on Wednesday that Delaware North had been “very active” in trying to mediate a settlement.
“I know that they are talking. I can’t tell you they are talking calmly at this point,” Myers said.
The companies involved in the dispute are both based overseas which adds a layer of difficulty, according to Myers.
“Miomni Company is located in the United Kingdom. The third party is in Cyprus. We’ve got international law between the various countries that’s causing problems,” Myers said.
A Delaware North spokesman declined to comment to Legal Sports Report on the issue Tuesday, saying there are no new developments in the shutdown that began two weeks ago. At the time, Delaware North provided this statement:
“We have been informed by Miomni Gaming, our sports wagering platform provider in West Virginia, that they have encountered a contract dispute with a third-party technology supplier.
“This has resulted in the interruption of the Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras sports betting operations as well as the BetLucky.com mobile app from accepting new sports wagers. We are honoring and redeeming all resulted bets and are working to determine a time frame for restoration. We apologize for this interruption in service.”
The lottery statement cited “on-going negotiations between their management services provider and a third-party, technology vendor” for the shutdown of the two casinos and the BetLucky app.
Miomni representatives did not return phone calls seeking comment. The third party involved is unnamed at this point.
WV sports betting started in September 2018 after the state approved legal sports betting in its legislature earlier that year.