In the span of two days, West Virginia’s dormant online / mobile sports betting industry went from zero operators to two of the industry’s heaviest hitters.
Partnering with The Greenbrier, a private casino resort owned by the family of Governor Jim Justice, the FanDuel online / mobile sportsbook went live in West Virginia on August 26.
Two days later, fellow daily fantasy sports (DFS) kingpin DraftKings opened its own online / mobile bet shop in conjunction with Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.
With gaming regulators in the Mountain State preparing to launch full-fledged iGaming (poker and casino games) next year, the return of online / mobile sports betting was a welcome sight for local gambling industry stakeholders.
Dr. Jill Justice – the Governor’s daughter and president of The Greenbrier since 2016 – commented on the online / mobile sportsbook integration in a press release issued to local media outlets:
“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.’”
John Finamore – who serves as senior vice president of regional operations for Hollywood Casino parent company Penn National Gaming – praised DraftKings for bringing regulated online / mobile sports betting back to West Virginia in a jointly issued statement:
“We are pleased to help welcome DraftKings to West Virginia.
They provide a quality online sports betting experience that will benefit their customers and the state.”
The first legal brick and mortar sportsbook opened at Hollywood Casino in August of 2018. Four months later, the Delaware North operated Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras casinos collaborated with software provider Miomni to launch BetLucky.com, the state’s first legal online / mobile sportsbook platform.
But by March of this year, a contract dispute with Miomni forced both casinos to drop their online / mobile app offerings altogether, leaving West Virginia bettors without a non-land based option until this week.
In the aforementioned press release, FanDuel Sportsbook celebrated launching an online / mobile product in its third state, with West Virginia joining New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
“In partnership with The Greenbrier, FanDuel Sportsbook delivers an online sports betting experience that is simple, secure, and more convenient than ever to individuals located in West Virginia.
In West Virginia, the FanDuel Sportsbook is a unique app available for download via iOS and Android for sports fans located anywhere inside the West Virginia borders.”
The FanDuel app in those states integrates software provided by International Game Technology (IGT), but West Virginia will be the proving ground for FanDuel’s proprietary wallet and account software.
When the DraftKings Sportsbook app went live in West Virginia on August 28, it marked the company’s second state launch alongside New Jersey.
In a statement made to the West Virginia Metro News, DraftKings’ chief compliance officer Tim Dent invited local bettors to sign up for the app:
“The DraftKings sports betting app will allow all West Virginians to bet on sports.”
If they are within the borders of West Virginia they can open up the app and place any kind of bets. It’s just going to increase the enjoyment and the entertainment value for the consumer.
He or she can place bets on this Saturday’s college football on who is going to score next. Those are some of many live in-game bets we have to offer.”
Dent also pointed to DraftKings’ ongoing success in New Jersey, where bettors living in neighboring states have flocked across state lines for the last year, while hyping West Virginia’s regional crossover potential:
“We are operating in the state of New Jersey and we see a huge amount of crossover.
People coming from New York and Pennsylvania coming into the state of New Jersey to sports bet on our mobile app. We expect the same thing to occur in West Virginia.
People coming in from D.C. and Maryland, a lot of Ohio we expect to see a significant amount of traffic along the border towns.”