WV's Totals Could Have Been Higher Without Mobile Woes
Legal Sports Report

Delaware, West Virginia Sports Betting Annual Reports Start 2019 Roundup

West Virginia sports betting

Results of 2019 for Delaware and West Virginia sports betting are in, which is the first full-year of sports betting revenue tallies available.

Both states share a special place in the history of US sports betting. Delaware was the first to launch single-game betting aside from Nevada in June 2018, less than a month after the federal ban ended.

West Virginia sports betting, meanwhile, had one of the first scandals in the expanded US market. Delaware North had to suspend its sports betting operations, including the state’s first online sportsbook, over a contract dispute between sports betting supplier Miomni and a third-party supplier.

West Virginia sports betting tally hit by dispute

West Virginia sports betting performed fairly well in its first full year. Yet that online disruption will leave many wondering about the what-ifs for sports betting revenue.

Total sports betting handle hit $226 million for 2019, with revenue at $19.1 million.

West Virginia sports betting launched just before football season in 2018. Bettors placed $46.4 million in bets from Sept. 1 through Dec. 29 that year, with nearly all of that handle from retail.

That was easily topped this football season. Handle was $70.1 million from Sept. 1 through Dec. 28 this year, with $55.9 million of that coming from mobile.

Big operators account for the majority

Those mobile bets all came from DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook, which both launched in late August.

Delaware North’s BetLucky app could have been the real winner in West Virginia had it partnered with another supplier. The app operated for just around three months before suspending operations right before the NCAA’s March Madness basketball tournament.

Delaware North’s sports betting operations at Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island remain suspended, as the BetLucky-Miomni dispute continues.

Delaware does its best while limited to retail

Delaware sports betting existed before the fall of PASPA in May 2018. Parlays of three games or more were available at Delaware Lottery retailers and the state’s three casinos back in 2009.

Delaware totaled $132.5 million in sports betting handle during 2019 with $19.5 million in revenue.

The sportsbooks at Delaware’s three casinos accounted for $102.6 million in handle and $12.5 million in revenue. Delaware Park, the casino closest to Delaware’s biggest city Wilmington and easily accessible from Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey, took more than half of that handle with $64.1 million.

Those parlays at lottery retailers accounted for $29.8 million in handle and $7.1 million in revenue.

Delaware does not have mobile sports betting and likely won’t for the foreseeable future despite its legality. The cost of launching a mobile infrastructure in the state with a population under 1 million is part of the hurdle, according to local reports.

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- Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.
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