West Virginia Lottery Gets Ready for Online Casino Gaming
The state of West Virginia is getting ready to become the fourth state to roll out internet-based casino gaming hopefully in 2020. Officials from the West Virginia lottery went to Pennsylvania to meet with the Keystone State lottery contemporaries. West Virginia officials learned about the platform used for sports betting and further that it can be used for online casino gaming.
At the moment, there are two casinos that offer sports betting through a mobile app out of the five casinos in the state. There are currently two casinos run via a mobile app. Three of the casinos offer retail sportsbooks.
Delaware North runs two other casinos that have had their mobile app as well as sportsbooks inaccessible since March. The state is suing its previous partner as a result of the shutdown.
West Virginia Law permits Five Online Casinos
The West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act was launched in March by the state legislature. The bill became law without the signature of Gov. Jim Justice. It offers licenses to the state’s four racinos and the casino at The Greenbrier resort. Casinos who want to offer online casino gambling are required to pay an application fee of $250,000 with a $100,000 renewal fee.
Starting from June 2019, mobile casinos in West Virginia were able to offer both table games as well as slot machines. Online casino gaming is similar to sports betting in that it will only be allowed within the state. The new bill gives West Virginia Lottery until 1 July 2020 to endorse emergency regulations for online gaming. According to the West Virginia Lottery, online casinos will launch sometime next year. This will come after the approved initial regulations.
At the moment, Pennsylvania, New Jersey as well as Delaware allow online casino gaming.
Online Casino Gambling Revenue Expectations
West Virginia Lottery expects the total revenue for online casino gambling to reach and surpass what sports betting generates. Since December 2019, for the fiscal year 2020 sportsbooks have totalled close to $129.6 million in bets. The fiscal year started in July 2019.
Since its first inception in August, online sports betting has reported a handle of $49.9 million. There are currently two mobile apps available in West Virginia operated by DraftKings and FanDuel. Since late August, both apps have accounted for close to 76 percent of all sports bets placed in the state.