Summary: With an anticipated launch this weekend, the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races decided to offer sports betting services early.
Over the past few months, the United States has seen a boom in gambling activity thanks to the US Supreme Court ruling that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was unconstitutional. Even before the ruling was made, states were prepping just in case the activity was opened up to the entire nation. Thankfully, in mid-May it was and states like Delaware, New Jersey and Mississippi have already begun offering sports betting services.
West Virginia was the next in line, set to launch this weekend, only to find that one venue began providing the wagering option today.
Let the Betting Begin!
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races took their very first bet this morning, two days earlier than anticipated. The staff members of the West Virginia Lottery Commission took to Twitter to share the good news. An image of the first legal wager was shared on the social media outlet, letting players know that sports betting is official in the state.
The first bet was placed at the venue on the Marshall and West Virginia University game. Players can wager on this and many other games at the casino now that sports betting is official a go. Right now, a $50 futures bet on West Virginia University to win the National Championship will pay out $30,050 at 60 to 1 odds.
The odds at the sports book are provided by William Hill as the venue has partnered with the UK sports betting giant to offer their services. William Hill and Hollywood were the first partnership in West Virginia to be approved for interim licensing earlier in August.
This past Monday, gaming regulators in the state began to test the systems the casino would be using for sports betting in the state. The process ran smooth apparently as the casino decided to open today instead of waiting until Saturday. The state is certainly excited to get started. Operators are looking forward to having another option for revenues while bettors are happy to be able to take part in sports action.
In 2018, West Virginia was the first to legalize sports betting in the US. Lawmakers of the state began considering legislation before the SCOTUS decision in May and actually passed legislation in March.
More to Come
With the Hollywood Casino launching sports betting services today, there is only more to come in West Virginia when it comes to the new activity. The next operator to launch should be The Greenbrier, which plans on offering a sportsbook in conjunction with FanDuel. The operator is currently working on their application for online and mobile wagering, set to launch most likely in September.
DraftKings also has plans to offers sports betting in the state, but has yet to find a land-based gaming partner. Delaware North owns the Mardi Gras Casino and Wheeling Island Casino, both having obtained sports licensing, however, when the activity becomes available is yet to be made known.
Mountaineer Casino is another venue in the state that is expected to apply for licensing, according to regulators. So far, the casino has yet to do so.
With the launch of sports betting in West Virginia, there are a total of five states that have legalized the option. WV joins the likes of Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi and of course Nevada. It will be interesting to watch in the final months of the year which other states become involved in the industry as well.