DraftKings Could Offer Online Sports Betting in West Virginia

December 21, 2018
DraftKings Could Offer Online Sports Betting in West Virginia December 21, 2018 Fantasy Sport

Daily fantasy sports firm DraftKings is entering into a partnership with Penn National Gaming, the owner of the Hollywood Casino Resort in Charlestown, to offer online sports betting in West Virginia.

Lottery Commission Director John Myers said they are still discussing the details with DraftKings and are still waiting for the next steps. It could be some time before online sports betting finally gets up and running at the Charlestown Casino, as they are in the process of discussing the necessary requirements to complete the deal.

The Charlestown casino already offers in-person sports betting, but this could expand to online sports wagering should the partnership go through. The co-founder and chief revenue officer of DraftKings Matt Kalish said the whole team is thrilled to work with Penn National as it looks to launch its online sportsbook product in the state.

Citing the company’s success in the New Jersey online gambling market, Kalish is confident they can generate the same excitement and enthusiasm among West Virginia customers.

Tweaks Need To Be Made

West Virginia has its own set of online gambling laws, which means DraftKings will have to make a few changes to its online sportsbook system to comply with state regulations. Among the modifications expected to be made is tweaking the system to incorporate the new tax laws.

Before receiving the green light to offer online sports betting services in the state, DraftKings’ online system is required to go through a series of trials from state lottery officials.

Five casinos currently operate in West Virginia and three of them offer sports betting. The other two casinos are hinting at launching both in-person and online sports betting at the same time instead of launching them separately. The two casinos are owned by Delaware North.

Myers refused to get into the detail as to Delaware North’s stance on the matter but he did confirm that the delay has been due to the company and not because of the gaming regulator.

Impact Unpredictable

West Virginia is among several states which legalized sports betting this year. Lottery officials are not clear if the regulated sports betting market would have a significant impact on the industry and the state’s budget. Myers said everything is still unpredictable at the moment as there are no past stats to go by. Sports betting revenue was not included in the official estimates submitted to the state’s Legislature.

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