The sportsbooks at Mardi Gras Casino and Wheeling Island along with the BetLucky WV mobile app have been shut down since March 7th and information is still sparse more than three days later.
Delaware North, parent company of both casinos and BetLucky WV, has done little to shed light on the situation since the sudden cease of sports betting operations. Twitter accounts belonging to Mardi Gras Casino and Wheeling Island simply repeat a canned statement in response to inquiries from customers:
We have been informed by Miomni Gaming, our wagering platform, that they have encountered a contract dispute with a 3rd party tech supplier. This has resulted in an interruption of service. All resulted bets will be honored.
— Mardi Gras Casino WV (@MardiGrasWV) March 8, 2019
Between the canned customer support responses and lack of any other information, it’s not the best look for Delaware North – or for sports betting in WV at all for that matter. Twitter users have been trashing Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island these past few days, yet both casinos have been strangely reluctant to divulge much beyond that single statement.
A slightly expanded statement given by Delaware North to the Charleston Gazette-Mail on Friday at seems to confirm customers are still being paid and any outstanding bets will be honored once BetLucky and the two land-based sportsbooks are up and running again:
“We have been informed by Miomni Gaming, our sports wagering platform provider in West Virginia, that they have encountered a contract dispute with a third-party technology supplier.
“This has resulted in the interruption of the Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras sports-betting operations, as well as the BetLucky.com mobile app from accepting new sports wagers. We are honoring and redeeming all resulted bets and are working to determine a time frame for restoration. We apologize for this interruption in service.”
Questions that still haven’t been answered include:
- The nature of the contract dispute
- Why this only impacts Miomni-powered sportsbooks in WV but not in other states
- How long the downtime may last
- When outstanding bets will be honored
This situation also reflects poorly on sports betting provider Miomni. With Delaware North feeling the heat from frustrated customers, the company has to be rethinking its decision to choose Miomni as its software provider. Delaware North is clearly totally dependent on Miomni, and Miomni has let the company down in a very big way.
“Hoping It’s a Matter of Days, and Not Months”
West Virginia Lottery Director John Myers spoke with the Gazette-Mail on Friday but provided scant additional details on the situation.
He assured the Gazette-Mail the issue “wasn’t anything regulatory” and explained the problem is entirely a matter of a “contractual thing between the company and their vendor.”
That’s not particularly enlightening, but Myers’ next comment regarding timelines has raised some eyebrows:
“We’re obviously hoping it’s a matter of days, and not months,” he told the Gazette-Mail. While it’s nice to know Delaware North isn’t looking at regulatory action, the mere mention of the word “months” in this context is concerning.
The entire situation is disappointing in many ways. BetLucky was West Virginia’s first mobile sportsbook and its closure just as March Madness approaches is a big miss for all the many West Virginians excited to finally get a taste of legal, regulated online sports betting.
It would have also been nice to see more transparency from the WV Lottery, Delaware North and Miomni regarding the nature of the contract dispute, how long the sportsbooks will be out of commission, when outstanding bets will be paid and what steps are being taken behind the scenes to fix the problem.