In late August 2018, West Virginia became the fifth state to have legalized sports betting. With Pennsylvania and New Jersey making big moves in the sports betting space, it only made sense for West Virginia to push the issue and go mobile.
This forgotten bit of sports betting history is not lost on us here at ATS. West Virginia was actually the third state with mobile sports betting. Only Nevada and New Jersey beat the Mountaineer State to the punch. Unfortunately, state officials and operators were too hasty in their quest to make sports betting available to everyone and a short-lived first run followed.
BetLucky Sportsbook was the first to set up mobile operations, but things fell apart at the Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island Sportsbooks. It made sense to set up shop quickly at Mardi Gras, just outside of Charleston and somewhere between the state capital and Huntington. Wheeling is also a major city in the state and easily accessible for neighboring residents of Ohio and Pennsylvania.
BetLucky’s brief and ill-fated run in West Virginia is now a mere historical footnote. However, it didn’t take that long for West Virginia to get back up and running in an online and mobile capacity once again.
In August of 2019, FanDuel went live with its license through The Greenbrier in upstate West Virginia. DraftKings followed suit two days later through its license with Hollywood Casino Charles Town.
At time of writing, William Hill was still working on its app in West Virginia, as the worldwide gaming operator has licensing through Hollywood and also Mountaineer, which is nestled along the Ohio River a stone’s throw from gambling hotbeds like Steubenville and Youngstown.
Look for PointsBet and Fox Bet, formerly known as BetStars, to be firing up apps in the near future.
In the meantime, let’s focus in on the two mobile sportsbook apps in West Virginia, DraftKings and FanDuel. Keep in mind that you can get these apps right from the Apple Store on iOS, but you will have to download the Android apps from the respective websites.
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DraftKings got in just before the start of the NFL season in what is by and large Steelers country. Through its license at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, DraftKings set up mobile operations on August 30, 2019. Much like its presence in New Jersey and Indiana, it can only be accessed from within the state. Geolocation tracking that places app users within legal state borders will allow them to bet on all of the sports offering that are available.
Football, basketball, baseball, hockey, NASCAR, golf, soccer, tennis, MMA, it’s all in there with the DraftKings app. One nice thing about having the DraftKings app is that it works in all three states, so even if you signed up in New Jersey or Indiana, you can still access it in West Virginia. The same is true if you signed up in Indiana or West Virginia.
DraftKings is growing its reach across the country and is an integral part of the legal sports betting landscape. Many more states are soon to go online, making this one of the must-have apps in the post-PASPA world.Read more
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FanDuel’s dominance in the neighboring state of Pennsylvania is having an impact on the handles and revenues in West Virginia as well. Perhaps it is because FanDuel was first at the Meadowlands Sportsbook in New Jersey, but it is a rapidly-growing brand in all operating states.
West Virginia is one of those states with its license via The Greenbrier in Sulphur Springs, WV. FanDuel’s partnership with Paddy Power Betfair has been very lucrative for both sides and should continue to be as the company’s reach expands across the country. It also made sense for FanDuel to get online as quickly as possible in WV because of the relatively remote location of The Greenbrier, which is a private club.
All of the usual wagering options are available through FanDuel and all of the major markets as well. Unlike New Jersey, where there is a restriction on betting college sporting events held within the state, you can bet on anything in West Virginia.
Technically, BetLucky beat FanDuel to the online market in West Virginia, but it flamed out, so FanDuel is first among active apps and was second to William Hill US as far as retail.Read more