The first two casinos to launch WV sports betting operations soon might reopen their shuttered windows.
State lottery director John Myers said Thursday that Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras could imminently be ready to rejoin WV sports betting, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
“I think we have some target dates,” Myers said to the Lottery Commission. “Our understanding is it’s going to happen a lot sooner than it has been.”
Background on WV sports betting history
Both casinos halted sports betting in West Virginia back in March 2019 after less than four months of online wagering. The Delaware North-owned properties suffered from a dispute among the parent company and tech providers Miomni and EnterG.
The fight over pricing and intellectual property led to the shutdown of the BetLucky app, as well as retail sportsbooks at both casinos. Lawsuits flew back and forth both in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Somehow Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras continue to suffer small cuts even now, according to the Gazette-Mail:
For December, the two casinos reported a combined total of more than $1,200 in sports wagering losses, for cashing in winning tickets that were sold prior to the March 6 shutdown.
Who will be West Virginia sports betting partners?
Delaware North long ago severed its relationship with Miomni, meaning the entertainment corporation needs new providers. The most obvious dance partners already appear to have full cards though.
DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook launched mobile WV sports betting apps in August 2019. They are partnered respectively with Hollywood Casino at Charles Town, a Penn National property, and The Greenbrier, a private resort.
Sports betting in West Virginia generated just $226 million in handle in 2019, with revenue of $19.1 million. Those figures appear heavily affected by the closures of Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras.
With the two early heavy hitters in the US sports betting market out of play, it bears watching who will jump into West Virginia next.