West Virginians received a pair of belated Christmas presents this afternoon with the launch of the state’s first mobile sports betting app and the grand opening of two new retail sportsbooks.
Gaming hospitality company Delaware North announced the simultaneous launch of a new betting app called Bet Lucky, a sportsbook at Mardi Gras Casino in Cross Lanes and another sportsbook at Wheeling Island Casino in Wheeling.
The retail sportsbooks opened at 3 PM today after wrapping up field testing and notifying the WV Lottery Commission that all systems are a go. With the launch of these two sportsbooks, all five of West Virginia’s casinos are now officially in the sports betting business. Hollywood Casino, the Greenbrier and the Mountaineer Casino also opened sportsbooks in August and September.
Delaware North was a little slower to the punch as the company wanted to make sure it had mobile and retail sports betting both ready to go live at the same time. Kim Florence, General Manager of both casinos, said this in a press release:
“Our patrons are going to enjoy these spaces in the casinos and everything else we have to offer in terms of hospitality and entertainment. We are eager to welcome people from throughout the state and the regions surrounding West Virginia to try a new experience at our casinos.”
Bet Lucky Mobile Sportsbook
Mobile betting in West Virginia is now underway. The Bet Lucky sports betting app by Delaware North currently offers real money wagers on the major North American sports and can be found at BetLucky.com. Alternatively, you can search for the app by name on your iOS or Android app store.
Currently, the Bet Lucky website only directs visitors to download the iOS or Android app, but WV betting laws do not prohibit full-service betting websites. A fully-functional sportsbook at BetLucky.com may still be in the works.
Two nearly-identical versions of the app are listed on the app store, one associated with Mardi Gras Casino and one with Wheeling Island. Both apps are indistinguishable from one another aside from the name of the casino, but it’s possible both apps will eventually launch promotions that offer a combination of online and in-person rewards catering to customers of each casino.
If that ends up being the case, it would make the most sense to download the app associated with the casino that’s closest to you. One login does not work with both mobile sportsbooks; you’ll have to sign up for each one separately. You will also need to be physically located in West Virginia to place wagers, but visitors from out of state may still sign up for an account to see the lines and give the app a test drive.
The Bet Lucky West Virginia app only offers basic functionality at this point with a small selection of in-season sports, a handful of betting markets for each game and in-play betting. The app functions well and seems to be based on a solid platform, but it still looks a little rough in some aspects of design and wagering options.
Here’s Delaware North VP of Marketing Luisa Woods on the app:
“We think West Virginians and visitors to the Mountain State are going to love how easy it is to register and use the app.
“The platform was designed to be flexible, easy to use and reliable, with innovative features designed specifically to engage and entertain U.S. sports fans. Patrons at the casinos can use the app or the betting tellers in the sportsbooks.”
At this point, the only sports covered are football, basketball and hockey. However, the software is powered by Miomni, which is plenty capable of offering a sleek and well-rounded betting product. Some of Miomni’s existing clients include the likes of Wynn Las Vegas, Westgate Las Vegas, Treasure Island, Golden Nugget, Caesars Entertainment and Paddy Power.
Here’s a first look at the Bet Lucky West Virginia app:
More WV Mobile Betting on the Way
Bet Lucky is the only mobile game in town right now, but that won’t likely be the case for much longer. West Virginia’s other three casinos will likely be following suit in short order now that the first mobile sportsbook has gone live.
Betting apps powered by FanDuel and DraftKings are likely coming soon as well. FanDuel reached a partnership agreement with the Greenbrier Resort in June and has stated its plans to offer in-person, online and mobile betting.
Meanwhile, DraftKings applied for a WV sports betting license in August and later reached a deal with Penn National to operate an online sportsbook in partnership with Hollywood Casino.
FanDuel and DraftKings both operate sportsbooks in New Jersey, so neither one should have too much trouble getting up and running in West Virginia. Both companies now lead the New Jersey market in betting volume and will likely emerge as formidable competitors to Bet Lucky in West Virginia.
Even accounting for Bet Lucky, FanDuel and DraftKings, the West Virginia sports betting market still has plenty of room for additional competitors to join the fray. Under state gaming laws, each of West Virginia’s five casinos may launch up to three different online sportsbook brands (or “skins”) in partnership with different gaming providers.
This sets an upper limit of up to 15 unique WV betting sites at full capacity and should foster a healthy, competitive environment similar to what we’re seeing in New Jersey.