DraftKings is apparently close to bringing online sports betting back to West Virginia.
The WV DraftKings Sportsbook app has completed regulatory testing, according to WV Metro News, and could launch as soon as next week. A company spokesperson later confirmed the report to LSR but offered no timeline for launch.
It certainly sound like good news for bettors.
WV online sports betting was previously live for several months via BetLucky WV, but the app and its associated retail sportsbooks shut down in March over a dispute with the supplier.
DraftKings Sportsbook WV coming soon?
DraftKings passed the testing process overseen by WV Lottery Director John Myers on Wednesday. Approval from the state's top regulator seems to indicate a quieting of his concerns about the impact of the recent Wire Act opinion.
“We were making sure we can get the reports out of it that we need,” Myers told WV Metro. “Making sure that we can verify the player that has the account is the one playing and to make sure the geolocation system works, and those people are actually located inside the state of West Virginia.”
Though it has grand ambitions, DraftKings currently offers sports betting in just two states: New Jersey and Mississippi.
It thrives in the former, where it was the first operator to launch a sportsbook app last summer. Its MS sports betting audience remains limited to physical patrons at Scarlet Pearl Casino, though, so West Virginia represents a larger group of accessible bettors.
DraftKings also has a path into New York when the time comes, plus a market-access deal with Caesars to broaden its footprint elsewhere.
Who else will play in WV?
It looks like Phase II of WV sports betting is about to begin.
If DraftKings is about to launch, you can expect FanDuel Sportsbook to be right behind it. The current NJ sports betting leader powers betting operations for The Greenbrier, which provides its digital point of entry into West Virginia.
William Hill serves as the primary WV sports betting partner for Hollywood, and it has an existing app in Nevada and other markets. There's the possibility that Penn National Gaming could deploy its own platform under the Hollywood banner, too.
The part-owner of BetLucky, Delaware North, also figures to get back into the game with a different product. There may be a long wait, though. Sports betting operations at Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras remain suspended, and relaunch is unlikely until the dispute is resolved.
Still struggling to find its footing, the state has collected just $1.1 million in tax revenue since launch. In New Jersey, online platforms account for more than 80% of the total take from sports betting.
Both markets allow their licensees to offer online sports betting under as many as three distinct brands.
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