West Virginia’s first month of regulated sports betting was something of a success with two bookmakers accounting for $7.5 million in wagers. The big numbers came in the wake of months of controversy and held a few surprises for those watching the emerging US sports betting vertical.
Of that $7.5 million, $7.07 million was taken in at the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. The remaining $369,000 was wagered at the Greenbriar Resort, a private club that is owned by the state’s governor, Jim Justice.
Justice prolonged the journey to regulated sports betting by aggressively lobbying in favor of the integrity fees demanded by the professional sports leagues. This action was criticized due to the Governor’s close relationships with professional sports figures, as well as the fact the he hosts sanctioned PGA events at Greenbriar. Despite Justice’s meddling, the state legislature approved the sports betting bill without caving in to the leagues’ demands.
All told, the two sportsbooks paid out $5.7 million to West Virginia sharps and kept around $2 million for themselves. For its troubles, the State of West Virginia will receive around $200,000 in tax revenues from regulated sports betting in the month of September.
While West Virginia’s sports betting numbers may seem small, especially to people from countries where sports betting has been legal for ages, they’re actually quite impressive given the fact that West Virginia is the 38th most populous state. Coming in at 39th is the teeming-with-people state of Idaho.
In short, West Virginia’s first month of regulated sports betting is another good sign that sports betting in America is going to be a profitable enterprise.