West Virginia officially became the fifth state to provide its residents and gambling enthusiasts with legal sports wagering on the premises of Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. Over the span of the first Saturday of operation the state succeeded in generating more than $340,000 through bets on college football events, elevating the West Virginia’s gaming field on a whole new level.
Patience is a virtue and this old but true saying proved to be the leitmotiv of West Virginia’s sports betting field. Following long delays and several postponings, the gaming field finally managed to see its first day of operation with a sports book located at Charles Town Races. The local community and the gaming field have been eagerly anticipating more development in relation to the sports wagering sector which has been stalling for the past several weeks.
Following long delays since its official beginning of consideration and only two days shy from the 8th August deadline, the state Lottery filed in the document with the Secretary of State’s Office. Last Monday saw the start of tests taking place at the casino venue which aimed to ensure that the platform works in a seamless manner and that there would not be any technical difficulties occurring over the foreseeable future of its operation. After the management of the casino venue gave its final nod, launch was set to happen this time for real.
There has been a soft launch on Wednesday which drew the attention of players from near and far. The first game which saw bets being placed on it was the one which put to the test the skills of both West Virginia University and the Tennessee Mountaineers. The latter team managed to prevail over its rival and this increased the enthusiasm of bettors present on site. Jason Barrett, a Democratic member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, representing the 61st district, had the honor to place the first bet on a state level amounting to $50 at the casino venue.
Sports Wagering Projected to Boost State Performance
However, the more heated football action was set to take place on Saturday and over the weekend with some of brought the official opening of the new feature which was set in a manner that aimed to bring the spotlight on the then-commencing college football season. Official launch happened just in time for the new 2018 NFL season which is set to commence on 6th September, a deadline eyed by many casino venues preparing their sports books across the US.
With this move, the state would be able to avoid the delay which threatened the sector up until this point, as regulations took longer than expected to receive green light. Penn National Gaming is the casino developer and operator overseeing the gaming facility and this is just another step of its latest wave of gaming pioneering across a total of three states. West Virginia was the second state to welcome sports betting operation managed by Penn National again teaming up with sports wagering giant William Hill US.
The sports betting area of the casino venue is fully renovated following several weeks of preparation prior to last week’s launch. Situated near the Skybox Sports Bar players now have the chance to participate in legal sports wagering through a premium platform.
According to the previously estimated revenue, sports betting legalization could prove to be beneficial to all parties involved, especially to the local economy, which could see a $5.5-million boost over the span of a single year. With the help of taxes generated through sports wagering West Virginia could significantly improve its overall state and invest in infrastructure improvement.
Coinciding with the launch, Alan Larrick, State Lottery Director, announced his resignation from the leading position making way to Doug Buffington. Up to this point, he has been occupying the Deputy Secretary for the West Virginia Secretary of Revenue spot, but from now he would oversee the management of the state lottery and sports betting. Changes are considered effective last Saturday.
As for the following weeks, they are set to bring sports betting to more casino venues across West Virginia, the first one probably being The Greenbrier. The location is expected to draw even more attention to White Sulphur Springs as FanDuel launches its innovative sports book, as well as online and mobile sports betting offerings.