DraftKings May Roll Out Mobile Betting in West Virginia Next Week
Mobile sports betting is poised to return to West Virginia very soon as DraftKings’ app was announced to have successfully passed all the necessary tests with the state’s Lottery, the regulator tasked with overseeing West Virginia’s young sports gambling market.
Local news outlet WV MetroNews reported on Wednesday citing information from state gambling regulators that the Lottery has tested the new wagering app with DraftKings this week and that the app has passed all the tests. This means that it can soon go live with Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, DraftKings’ West Virginia casino partner.
John Myers, Director of the West Virginia Lottery, told the WV MetroNews that they expect Hollywood Casino to soft-launch the app sometime next week. The gaming regulator also explained that the app passed the tests required under state law so that the Lottery can make sure that it “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.”
DraftKings announced that it has reached a licensing agreement with Hollywood Casino owner Penn National Gaming late last year. The deal enabled the daily fantasy sports turned sports betting operator to roll out a mobile betting app in the state in partnership with the Charles Town-based casino.
West Virginia will be the third state where DraftKings has gone live with sports betting following last year’s landmark ruling by SCOTUS that saw the end of a long-standing federal ban on wagering. In August 2018, DraftKings become the first company to roll out mobile betting in New Jersey. It also debuted an in-person sportsbook with its local partner Resorts Casino Hotel later that year. The operator also runs a physical sportsbook at Scarlet Pearl Casino in D'Iberville, Mississippi.
The betting app abruptly shut down on March 6, just days ahead of the start of this year’s March Madness. Late in March, Delaware North announced that it has cut ties with its sports betting partner and that it was looking for another betting platform provider. Last month, the casino operator revealed further details about the abrupt stop of sports betting operations, saying that it has moved to sue Miomni over fraud and willful breach of contract and that the sports betting issue stemmed from a dispute between Miomni and a third-party platform provider. Delaware North pointed out that it had had no knowledge of the ongoing dispute until the March 6 shutdown of operations.
Mr. Myers explained on Wednesday that the DraftKings app will operate in a similar manner as the BetLucky one. The gaming regulator further elaborated that while promotional activities and operations might be different as a whole, the idea will be quite the same – “you’re using your cell phone to see the odds and then placing the wager on that phone.”
Mr. Myers went on that the BetLucky app, while it was running, outperformed the state’s retail betting locations and they expect the same to happen when DraftKings' mobile operation goes live in West Virginia.