West Virginia might finally see the return of mobile sports betting very soon thanks to plans by DraftKings to soft-launch a sports betting app in Hollywood Casino in Charles Town. The sports betting app has been announced to have successfully passed all the necessary tests with the state’s Lottery which is the body that is responsible for overseeing the state’s young sports gambling market.
According to John Myers, Director of the West Virginia Lottery, Hollywood Casino is poised to soft-launch the app sometime next week after passing the tests that sought to prove that it will be able to “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.”
The partnership between DraftKings and Penn National Gaming, the owner of Hollywood Casino, was inked last year and it is part of the factors that propelled the forthcoming mobile gambling application in the state. The daily fantasy sports provider turned sports betting operator has been very serious about extending its footprint in the United States’ sports betting market since it launched its bid to venture into the sector following the landmark Supreme Court ruling that lifted the federal ban on sports betting.
West Virginia is now on track to be the third state where DraftKings has gone live with sports betting since the federal ban on sports betting was lifted. In August of last year, the sports betting company became the very first company to go live with a mobile sports betting offering in New Jersey and this was followed shortly by an in-person sportsbook that is launched in partnership with Resorts Casino Hotel. In addition to that, DraftKings also runs a physical sports betting facility at Scarlet Pearl Casino in D’Iberville, Mississippi.
The State of Digital Gaming in West Virginia
Even though all five of the gaming venues in West Virginia have managed to launch land-based gaming operations that have been met quite well by customers, the state’s residents have not been able to access any digital betting options since March 6 – this was when the BetLucky app went dark amid a growing legal dispute between Delaware North and its technology partners Miomni Gaming.
While this was certainly an unfortunate occurrence for Miomni Gaming, Delaware North and the customers, it goes without saying that it created more of an opportunity for DraftKings to swoop in and grab a significant chunk of the market share with its mobile betting option. There is certainly a lot of potential in that particular space with the lottery director even pointing out that during its brief existence, the BetLucky betting option had significantly out-performed its retail counterpart.