DraftKings recently announced that it signed a licensing agreement with Penn National to offer online sports betting in West Virginia. The DraftKings online sportsbook could soon come to West Virginia as part of a new deal with the Penn National Gaming, the company that operates the Hollywood Casino Hotel in Charlestown.
Online Sports Betting Coming To Charlestown Casino
John Myers, Lottery Commission Director said they have not yet received the complete testing information from DraftKings and are still communicating with the company. In-person betting is currently offered at the Charlestown Casino, but Myers said it might take awhile before the online sportsbook operation finally kicks off.
Matt Kalish, Co-founder of DraftKings, said the company is thrilled to enter the Mountain State and is looking forward to giving West Virginia consumers the best online betting experience. Kalish said working with Penn National will help them establish their online sportsbook product in the state.
DraftKings is one of the two major daily fantasy sports operators in America along with FanDuel. The company is now looking at getting a piece of the lucrative sports betting market by teaming up with different casino operators as many states are contemplating legalizing sports betting since PASPA 1992 was repealed by the Supreme Court back in May.
Different Laws, Different Requirements
DraftKings currently operates an online sportsbook platform in New Jersey but it’s understood the company will need to tweak some aspects of its online sports betting platform so that it can be in accordance with West Virginia’s gaming laws. Tax rates in the system may also need to be modified before it can launch operations in West Virginia.
The state’s Lottery officials will also conduct a series of testing at the Charlestown casino and its betting platform before it can operate online sports betting.
Three of West Virginia’s five casinos currently offer sports betting, but the remaining two located in Wheeling and Nitro are planning to launch in-person and online sportsbetting simultaneously, moving away from the usual individual launching by other casinos. One reason for this is because both casinos are operated by Delaware North
When asked about what took Delaware North so long to launch sports betting, Myer said he provide an accurate reason but did state that the holdup was at Delaware’s end.
DraftKings Sportsbook Success
DraftKings’ sportsbook platform in New Jersey has been a massive success with the company sitting at the top in terms of online betting revenue. Upon launching its sportsbook in NJ, DraftKings allowed players to trial the platform and over 90% of them came back to play within weeks.
DraftKings also operates a land-based sportsbook in Mississippi, aside from the one in Resorts Atlantic City. It also plans to expand to New York in the coming months.
DraftKings has already submitted a license application to operate online sports betting in West Virginia. The state currently has no active online sportsbook, though retail sportsbooks are in operation, such as the one being run by arch-rival FanDuel at the Greenbrier.
Once the DraftKings sportsbook is up and running in West Virginia, it will offer live in-game betting, as well as wagering on major US and international sports. The sportsbook will also include betting on popular leagues such as the NBA, NFL and NHL. Bettors will be able to register an account from at any location provided they are within the state.
The offerings in West Virginia are expected to be similar to what the DraftKings sportsbook currently offers in New Jersey.
Too Early To Tell
West Virginia legalized sports betting earlier this year, following in the footsteps of many other states who already have their sports betting industries up and running. While other states are already benefitting from revenue generated by the sportsbetting market, Myers said it’s too early to tell whether sports betting would have a similar impact on West Virginia.
DraftKings Expansion
After penetrating West Virginia, DraftKings is likely to target the neighboring state of Pennsylvania. Penn National also operates a sportsbook in the state through its Hollywood Casino, and there are speculations the agreement could expand to the Keystone State.
Penn National also acquired The Meadows Racetrack and Casino from Pinnacle Entertainment. DraftKings could consider The Meadows as a potential licensing partner.

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