Delaware North Taps IGT as New Sports Betting Technology Partner
The company announced earlier this week that it has partnered gambling technology giant IGT in order to secure its entry into the US betting mix. IGT, through its IGT PlaySports solution, will power retail and sports betting for Delaware North’s properties in West Virginia and retail sport betting for the company’s property in Arkansas.
In West Virginia, Delaware North manages Mardi Gras Casino & Resort in Cross Lanes and Wheeling Island Casino-Hotel-Racetrack in Wheeling Island. In Arkansas, the company operates Southland Casino Racing in West Memphis.
With the addition of West Virginia and Arkansas, IGT’s sports betting technology solution now powers sportsbooks, both retail and digital, in 11 US states.
As mentioned earlier, the partnership with IGT will put Delaware North back on the West Virginia sports betting map after the rapid crash and burn of its first wagering product.
The WV Fiasco
Delaware North’s two properties in West Virginia were the first to go live with retail and digital betting following the legalization of the practice in the state in the spring of 2018 and the annulment of a long-standing federal wagering ban in May 2018.
In the summer of that year, the casino operator announced that it had teamed up with Miomni Gaming for the provision of sports betting services in West Virginia.
Delaware North and its sports betting partner launched retail sportsbooks and a digital betting product – the BetLucky app – in late 2018.
However, sports betting at the two brick-and-mortar facilities as well as via the app abruptly shut down on March 6, 2019, only a couple of days ahead of March Madness, one of America’s favorite annual sporting events.
It quickly became known that the service was stopped due to a contract dispute between Miomni and third-party betting technology supplier EnterG. Delaware North severed ties with its partners and announced that it was suing Miomni, accusing the company and its CEO of “fraudulent inducement” into a joint venture and of “willful breach” of contract.
The casino operator said last spring that it has begun looking for a new sports betting partner and that wagering at its two West Virginia casinos would resume as soon as possible.
West Virginia Lottery Commission Director John Myers said last week that the relaunch of sports betting at Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras appeared imminent and that the state regulator had some target dates from Delaware North.
While the company and its new sports betting partner have not announced a start date, hopes are that the new product would be rolled out ahead of this Sunday’s Super Bowl that will see the Kansas City Chiefs play the San Francisco 49ers.
Management Thoughts on Deal
Commenting on their partnership with IGT, Delaware North Gaming Division President Brian Hansberry said that the company “is confidently partnering with IGT” and that their new technology partner “will help us establish Delaware North as a preferred sports betting provider in West Virginia and Arkansas.”
IGT PlayDigital Senior Vice President Enrico Drago added that they are “proud to add Delaware North to our growing list of US-based customers leveraging PlaySports technology to offer reliable, best-in-class sports betting experience” and that the casino operator can count on IGT’s team and trusted technology to “help build a sports betting business that can scale for the opportunities of today and the future.”