Mobile sports betting made its way to West Virginia back in December of 2018. However, a dispute between the BetLucky WV app and its supplier led to a shutdown of the only mobile sports betting app in the state. The dispute even led to a shutdown of the two retail sportsbooks the Delaware North operates.
Well, now it looks like a fan favorite may be playing hero and bringing mobile sports betting back to the Mountaineer State.
The West Virginia DraftKings Sportsbook app has just completed its regulatory testing. Now everything is all clear for the app to launch. There is no scheduled launch date just yet, but the West Virginia Lottery, who oversee sports betting in the state, believe that a “soft launch” could come by the end of May.
Lottery Director John Myers said that the DraftKings Sportsbook app passed all of the necessary tests.
“We were making sure we can get the reports out of it that we need. Making sure that we can verify the player that has the account is the one playing and to make sure the geo-location system works and those people are actually located inside the state of West Virginia,” said Myers.
Third in Line
West Virginia will become the third state that DraftKings will have a mobile sportsbook it. New Jersey is their golden goose. They were the first to break into the New Jersey mobile market and for months were the top dogs before FanDuel recently took over the top spot. If DraftKings can get into West Virginia ahead of FanDuel like that did New Jersey, that should give them a leg up, at least to start.
Mississippi is the other state that DraftKings operates in. However, Mississippi residents are limited to betting on the property of Scarlet Pearl Casino. Due to this, it is assumed that the wider market reach in West Virginia will make them DraftKings number two revenue-producing state. That is until New York figures out their mobile betting situation.
Where there is DraftKings, you can expect to see FanDuel, and perhaps even William Hill. FanDuel already has access to West Virginia through The Greenbrier. The Greenbrier is a private resort where FanDuel operates its physical sportsbook. DraftKings is partnering up with Hollywood Casino Charles Town for their mobile sportsbook, but they do not operate their retail sportsbook.
The market in West Virginia may not be the biggest as the state has only collected $1.1 million in tax revenue since sports betting was legalized. Although, when mobile was operating in the state, it did better than the retail sportsbooks.
DraftKings knows that in a state with mobile sports betting its not just that states residents who can provide revenue. Ohio, Kentucky, and Virginia residents are all without sports betting. With legal mobile sports betting operation in West Virginia, especially with a powerhouse like DraftKings, you can expect to see a lot of out of state traffic flowing into the state. It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out for West Virginia, Draftkings and sports betting!