Gaming and hospitality company Delaware North has filed a lawsuit against Miomni Gaming related to last month’s sudden shutdown of the BetLucky betting app and two retail sportsbooks in West Virginia.
The lawsuit alleges Miomni Gaming and its CEO “fraudulently misrepresented its ownership of a key part of the BetLucky sports wagering platform and breached the companies’ joint-venture contract.”
Delaware North also accuses Miomni CEO Michael P. Venner of “fraudulent inducement” for failing to accurately describe the nature of Miomni’s relationship with a third-party company at the time Delaware North decided to partner with Miomni Gaming for its WV sports betting operations.
Origin of the Delaware North Lawsuit
West Virginia legalized sports betting last year and Delaware North, which operates Mardi Gras Casino in Cross Lanes and Wheeling Island in Wheeling moved quickly to take advantage of the opportunity.
Delaware North reached a partnership agreement with sports betting solutions provider Miomni Gaming to help run the retail sportsbooks at both casinos and to power the BetLucky sports betting app in WV.
BetLucky and the two retail sportsbooks opened this past December, and all seemed well for the first few months. That all changed on March 6th when both in-person sportsbooks and BetLucky suddenly stopped accepting wagers due to internal issues at Miomni Gaming.
In the days following the sudden shutdown, it seemed as though not even Delaware North really knew what was going on. Canned statements from customer service reps at Mardi Gras, Wheeling Island and BetLucky did little to alleviate customers’ frustration, especially considering it was unclear at first what would happen to outstanding wagers.
The issue ended up being a contract dispute between Miomni and third-party software solutions provider Entergaming. The exact nature of the dispute remains somewhat unclear, but what we’ve learned from a Delaware North press release is that Miomni did not own the entirety of the source code behind the platform and failed to reveal this fact to Delaware North.
Delaware North proceeded with the partnership on the understanding that Miomni fully owned the entire platform it would be providing to BetLucky and the retail sportsbooks at Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island. Thus, Delaware North had no reason to believe its sports betting operations would be reliant on anyone except Miomni Gaming.
At some point, Miomni and Entergaming had a dispute that resulted in Entergaming refusing to provide critical services to Miomni. This in turn led to an interruption in service that came as a complete surprise to Delaware North and its customers.
The timing couldn’t have been worse for Delaware North or sports fans in West Virginia. It happened just days ahead of the tip-off of March Madness, which is the biggest sports betting event in the US in terms of handle. Delaware North is now suing for damages incurred as a result of its sudden shutdown.
“Several Months or Longer” for Return of Sports Betting
In a final note included in yesterday’s press release, Delaware North estimated it could take “several months or longer” before it is able to find a suitable replacement for Miomni and reinstate its sports betting operations. Unfortunately, it sounds like it will still be quite some time before Mardi Gras, Wheeling Island and BetLucky will be accepting sports wagers once again.
West Virginian sports fans do still have a few options in the meantime, though. The retail sportsbooks at The Greenbrier, Mountaineer Casino and Hollywood Casino are still open for business. There are no mobile betting options in WV right now with BetLucky out of the picture, but any of the three other casinos could launch online betting any time now.