West Virginia is close to getting back into the mobile sports betting game. WV Lottery John Myers confirmed this week that the DraftKings Sportsbook WV app managed by Hollywood Casino at Charles Town has passed all pre-launch tests and should be going live shortly.
Myers told WV MetroNews this week that now the lottery is working to ensure DraftKings has proper protocols in place to verify customer identities and locations:
“We were making sure we can get the reports out of it that we need. Making sure that we can verify the player that has the account is the one playing and to make sure the geo-location system works and those people are actually located inside the state of West Virginia.”
DraftKings WV Coming Next Week
Myers also told WV MetroNews that the DraftKings Sportsbook should be able to roll out in a soft launch phase next week.
The WV Lottery has not detailed specifics on the soft launch phase, but past soft launches of betting apps in WV and other states have typically lasted a day or two as regulators look on before giving the final green light for 24/7 operations.
The launch of DraftKings Sportsbook WV will bring an entirely new sense of professionalism to mobile betting in the state after the BetLucky debacle. Delaware has not had any form of legal online betting since BetLucky suddenly ceased operations back in March after its software provider Miomni had a contract dispute with a third-party technology provider.
Delaware North, which operates the Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras casinos, has since sued Miomni over the sudden shutdown. The dispute between Miomni and its software supplier also caused the sportsbooks at both casinos to close indefinitely. Delaware North is now looking for a replacement provider but has not yet named who it will choose next.
DraftKings Sportsbook a Welcome Sight in West Virginia
DraftKings Sportsbook should be a welcome sight in West Virginia – and not just as an alternative to the ill-fated BetLucky app. DraftKings is a strong contender in its own right and would have posed a serious threat to the competition even if WV did already have a functional mobile betting market.
Over in New Jersey, DraftKings dominates the online betting market alongside FanDuel. Together, the two sites account for 83% of the NJ sports betting market. Some of DraftKings’ success derives from it being the first mobile app to launch in New Jersey, but the company’s continued dominance in an increasingly competitive environment cannot be pinned exclusively on fortunate timing or brand name recognition.
DraftKings simply operates a high-quality sports betting operation. Past experience in the daily fantasy industry has certainly helped the people at DraftKings pivot to real money sports betting. A functional and time-tested app in New Jersey will serve DraftKings well as it expands into West Virginia and elsewhere.
What to Expect from DraftKings WV
The DraftKings WV sportsbook will likely have a lot in common with the site’s New Jersey app. In New Jersey, DraftKings Sportsbook covers a wide range of sports leagues from around the world with many markets available for every event. In some cases, it is possible find upwards of a hundred different wagers for a single game.
In-play betting is also covered over at New Jersey and that capability will be extending to West Virginia as well. The in-play experience at DraftKings covers numerous games each day with wagers that are updated in real time as the game progresses.
Whether or not DraftKings introduces a unique deposit bonus in West Virginia remains to be seen. We do know DraftKings NJ recently announced a 100% deposit bonus for new customers that offers up to $200 in extra funds.
West Virginia has also legalized online casino games and poker, which DraftKings could potentially offer in WV. DraftKings does offer casino games in New Jersey but does not have anything in place for online poker.
Signing up for an account:
Anyone 21 or older and located within West Virginia may download the DraftKings app, sign up for an account and deposit.
The DraftKings app will ask for your name, address and the last four of your social in order to verify your identity.
From there, you’ll be able to fund your account via credit card, debit card or PayPal.
WV Lottery officials are close to giving DraftKings Sportsbook the go-ahead to launch, possibly by the end of the month. As soon as that happens, the betting lines will go live and you’ll finally have mobile betting in WV once again.
If you had a chance to try BetLucky WV, you’ll already have a pretty good idea of what to expect with DraftKings in WV. Here’s how Myers put it when asked about the app this week:
“They’re all going to operate in a similar manner. They’ll have different promotional activities and things they all do a little differently than the other, but in a nutshell, you’re using your cell phone to see the odds and then placing the wager on that phone.”