West Virginia will become one of the first states in the country to launch a sports betting app this month. With the sports betting app, the state hopes to continue to capitalize on its unique position. West Virginia is one of the few states that has begun to incorporate online gaming and sportsbooks. Legislators are hoping that this technological leap will make gambling all the more profitable for the state.
Gambling In West Virginia
West Virginia has seven casinos. One of the casinos also has horse racing and dog racing. The state also allows pari-mutuel betting. West Virginia has a lottery system, which has scratch-off tickets and state and multistate lottery ticket drawings. Of all the casinos, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races is the state’s largest. The design of the facility is art deco. This reflects the time when the Charles Town Races opened, which was in the mid-1930s. The casino has 3,000 video lottery terminals, 100 gaming tables, and 25 poker tables. Hollywood Casino offers 175,000 square feet of gaming and entertainment space.
West Virginia has experienced a loss of gambling business recently. That is because the neighboring state of Maryland opened a huge casino and entertainment complex. Called MGM National Harbor, it is close to Washington, D.C. In one month alone, the gambling revenue from National Harbor was nearly $60 million. Currently, there are six casinos operating in Maryland.
Sports Betting in West Virginia
West Virginia became one of the first states to legalize sports gambling. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year states had the right to decide for themselves whether they wanted sports gambling. Some states, such as New Jersey, immediately jumped at the chance to legalize sports betting. West Virginia was the fourth state to do so. Sportsbooks became legal in the Mountain State last fall. The first mobile sports betting app launched in West Virginia in December.
However, the state has had difficulty making a go of the mobile application for sports betting. The sportsbooks at two casinos, Wheeling Island Casino and Mardi Gras Casino, shuttered their sportsbooks earlier this spring. At first, the information coming from the casinos was that there were problems with their third-party vendors. However, the applications have yet to reappear. This application failure led to the state not meeting the goals it had hoped to reach for sports gaming revenue.
The New Sportsbook App
Charles Town’s Hollywood Casino had a soft launch of its new sports app at the end of May. The app allows state residents who are over the age of 21 to place sports bets. Customers do not have to be at a casino or racetrack in order to bet. Unlike the earlier casino apps, a provider well-versed in handling online sports traffic will oversee this one. That provider is DraftKings, which is one of the largest providers of daily fantasy sports in the country. DraftKings and its new sports app will use the same kind of regulations as New Jersey and Pennsylvania. These states have had success with their sports betting ventures. Both of these states have seen their sports betting revenue skyrocket in the months since they legalized sports betting.
The sports app even has a geolocation device. West Virginia wants to ensure that when someone places a bet, he or she is within the state’s boundaries. West Virginia hopes the launch of its new sports app will help the state to see some revenue. The state wants revenue from its sportsbooks to begin competing with those sportsbooks in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
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