Ed. note – DraftKings has now joined FanDuel in the West Virginia online sports betting market.
At long last, online sports betting has arrived in West Virginia. Again.
FanDuel Sportsbook rolled out its mobile platform on Monday, bringing WV online sports betting back from the brink of extinction. It’s been almost six months since the failure of BetLucky opened up a gap in the betting market and punched a hole in the state budget.
The Mountain State is officially on the road to recovery, though, managing to get online just in time for football. Again. FanDuel Sportsbook WV appears to be fully live in West Virginia as of now, although some bettors were having difficulty with geolocation.
A smooth launch today would go a long way toward ensuring that this year’s campaign turns out better than that 2018-19 calamity.
Welcome to West Virginia, FanDuel
FanDuel has operated a retail sportsbook in West Virginia for almost a year, but its remote location at The Greenbrier isn’t exactly a go-to spot for the betting public. The upscale private club owned by the family of Gov. Jim Justice has generated less than $500,000 in lifetime revenue since opening last September.
Brick-and-mortar sports betting was never really the point of the partnership, though.
Under the property’s license, FanDuel aims to put the portable version of its sportsbook in the palms of the other 99% of bettors in the state. The standalone platform is now available via the web and Android/iOS devices, and it is as robust and polished as its existing products elsewhere.
Greenbrier President Jill Justice provided the quote for the press announcement:
“We are incredibly excited that this new app is available for download, and the timing couldn’t be better with football season and A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier right around the corner. We hope sports fans across the state will try out the app and then some visit the amazing FanDuel Sportsbook retail location here at America’s Resort.”
FanDuel Sportsbook is the only online option for West Virginians today, but it may not have a monopoly for very long. Sources tell LSR to expect a DraftKings Sportsbook launch this week, perhaps as early as Tuesday.
William Hill and PointsBet also have access to the market under deals with Penn National Gaming, as does The Stars Group with Eldorado.
FanDuel Sportsbook WV nuts and bolts
The newest, most-mountainous addition to the FanDuel portfolio gives it digital footprint in three states. While the New Jersey and Pennsylvania markets share the same app, the situation is a little different in West Virginia.
Sources indicate that WV operators were forced to duplicate their technology stack within the state — including non-gambling elements like player account servers and cashiering logistics.
After being unexpectedly cast into his role late last year, WV Lottery Director John Myers cited concerns over the Wire Act as a cause to delay the online relaunch. Although regulators in other states do not share the same worries, Myers thought it prudent to “err on the side of caution.”
FanDuel did confirm a full build-out in West Virginia, though it may have gone down that path regardless. Unlike its NJ/PA product, it does not rely on GAN account management for the WV platform. It is a fully standalone client using in-house technology on the back end.
That’s good news for those who both bet and play daily fantasy sports. Native accounting allows customers to share a wallet across DFS and sportsbook, providing a clear advantage to operators that offer both.
Apart from that, all you need to know is that FanDuel Sportsbook is absolutely dominating NJ sports betting. It is likely on its way to a similar position in Pennsylvania. Its technology and promotions are objectively among the very best you’ll find in any US market.
Today is a good day for WV bettors. And if DraftKings has anything to say about it, tomorrow looks pretty good, too.