West Virginia Sports Betting and iGaming: A Diverse Array of Opportunities

Published: August 9, 2023, 05:18h. 

Last updated: August 9, 2023, 05:18h.

Sports betting and iGaming operators in West Virginia are showing signs of improvement after a slow summer. However, the overall handle numbers paint a different picture, lacking any significant momentum.

The Greenbrier West Virginia sports betting
The Greenbrier Resort in White Springs, WVa., pictured above was the leader in sports betting in The Mountain State for the first half of the year..  (Image: The Greenbrier)

In July, there was a slight increase in retail and legal online sports betting revenue in West Virginia. According to the West Virginia Lottery, the total combined wagering for the month was $20,903,045, marking a 2.3% increase from June’s $20,429,650. However, the year-over-year figures show a decline of over 16%.

The July numbers indicate an increase in sports betting revenue for the state, with a significant boost in the use of mobile betting apps. Mobile betting accounted for over $18 million of the total handle, resulting in revenue and taxes increasing by 53.3% from June. In July, sports betting revenue reached $2,511,985, and taxes amounted to $213,519.

From January to July of this year, West Virginia’s sports betting handle accumulated just under $252 million. The state, which legalized sports gambling in August 2018, offers both in-person and online wagering.

Key Hold Rates

In July, the Greenbrier, utilizing platforms like FanDuel, BetMGM, and Golden Nugget, had a hold rate of 14.3%, making it the top performer in West Virginia sports betting. The total online handle for this period was $8.8 million, generating $1.3 million in revenue.

Partnered with DraftKings, Barstool Sportsbook, and PointsBet, Charles Town came in second with a $8.2 million handle and a hold rate of 7.9%, which significantly trails its primary competitor. Charles Town generated $643,449 in revenue.

Out of the five retail sportsbooks in the state, four were profitable. Mardi Gras emerged as the top performer, winning 55% of the wagers and recording a July profit of $216,124.

Despite the absence of professional sports teams, West Virginia serves as a geographic dividing line between the Midwest and the East Coast. The state is surrounded by neighboring sports markets in Ohio to the west, Pennsylvania to the north, and Maryland and the District of Columbia to the east.

New Market Entrants in West Virginia

Caesars Entertainment has expanded its iGaming portfolio by launching its new online casino app in West Virginia. The website for Caesars Palace Casino WV states, “New online casino. Same iconic palace.”

The app offers a full-scale casino experience separate from its sportsbook product and includes the Caesars Rewards program.

The Betly Casino and Sportsbook app also made a comeback in West Virginia this month, enabling customers to place sports bets and play online casino games within a single app.

Online casinos present a greater revenue opportunity compared to sportsbooks. According to the American Gaming Association, online casinos in just six states generated nearly $2 billion in overall revenue during the first four months of 2023.

Although West Virginia’s legal online casino gaming market is small, fiscal year numbers demonstrate substantial growth. Revenue and state taxes have increased by 61% year-over-year for FY 2022/2023.

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