- West Virginia sports betting revenue at casinos have come to a grinding halt with Governor Jim Justice ordering the closure of casinos due to COVID-19.
- Total sports betting ticket sales from retail and online casinos for the week ending on March 14 to the week ending on March 21 went from $4,625,930 to just $877,302.
- DraftKings and FanDuel online sportsbooks seem to be the only options keeping WV sports betting afloat.
CHARLESTON, W. Va. – The sports and sports betting industry has taken a major hit in the past few weeks and West Virginia’s sports betting revenue numbers are a shining example of that.
When looking at just the week ending on March 7 to the week ending on March 21, the W.V. sports betting handle fell from about $8.5 million to $877,302.
This also comes at a time when March Madness, the largest multi-day betting event in the country, was supposed to boost the sportsbooks’ and state’s profits. However, with the NCAA Tournament cancelation and each professional sports league suspending its season, this was only one part of this nightmarish trend.
To make matters worse, W.V. Governor Jim Justice implemented an executive order for all casinos in the state to shut down in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19. Each of the state’s five casinos host a sportsbook, leaving the ones with an online presence to be the only ones available to accept wagers at this time.
But, can online sports betting in W.V. be enough to help the state’s casino profits and ultimately save the state tax dollars?
Online Sports Betting To The Rescue
For the week of March 14 to March 21, FanDuel (which is partnered with The Greenbrier) was able to take in $128,794 in total handle.
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races has two online sports betting partners in DraftKings and BetMGM. Those two online and mobile platforms combined to capture $724,050.
But when looking at the total online sports betting revenue after tickets had been cashed, the online sportsbooks combined to generate only $113,977 in total taxable receipts. With West Virginia only having a tax rate of 10% that leaves behind a measly $11,397 for the state to collect.
The final factor to account for is the fact that many futures bets had to be refunded to sports bettors since the leagues have suspended play indefinitely. This means the total amount of money the state was able to collect from all sports betting activity that week was only $2,029.
Online sportsbooks have been getting creative in order to generate more action on their sites. While the state-licensed betting platforms are not regulated for this action, online sportsbooks have offered political betting lines, as well as odds for esports and more niche sports.
But, the NFL Draft is the only noteworthy sporting event still scheduled to go on in the near future. This alone may give sportsbooks a push but it likely won’t be enough to cover the state’s expected losses.
According to wvmetronews, because The Mountaineer State shut down all gaming activity, it could cost West Virginia as much as $52 million a month in gambling revenue.
While online sportsbooks are doing their best to rescue what little gambling dollars are out there in West Virginia, it likely won’t come close to filling the void that the state’s gambling industry is experiencing right now.
– In his career, Hasan has worked both local and state government positions—including the Attorney General’s Office in Florida. On top of being familiar with the legislative process, he has also been researching and writing on the legality of sports betting across the US. Outside of work you’ll most likely find him producing or playing music, playing sports, or working on creative writing projects. You’ll also catch him at Doak Campbell Stadium cheering on the Noles.