First legal sports bet was made in West Virginia
August 31, 2018 10:40 AM
by Robert Mann
The first legal sports bet was made in West Virginia Thursday morning, a full two days ahead of schedule, it was announced by Danielle Boyd, managing general counsel for the West Virginia Lottery, the entity supervising the state’s foray into legalized sports wagering.
The wager was placed at Penn National’s Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. Las Vegas-based William Hill US is operating the book on behalf of Penn. The wager was a $50 straight bet at 60/1 on The University of West Virginia (UWV) to win the college football championship. If that happens, the ticket holder will receive $3000 plus the $50 back.
Betting on West Virginia-based teams, such as UWV and Marshall is legal. Mobile betting within the state is also allowed and is expected to begin soon. At this writing, Marshall is -2 Saturday at Miami OH and UWV is -9.5 in a neutral-site contest (Charlotte, N.C.) against Tennessee.
An official grand opening it set for Saturday at 11 am featuring former Notre Dame great and NFL legend (but not a NFL Hall-of-Famer) Joe Theismann.
Other West Virginia locations that will soon open for sports betting in the next few weeks include, The Greenbrier, the world-famous resort in White Sulphur Springs; Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort, a thoroughbred racetrack and casino resort located on the Ohio River north of New Cumberland, owned and operated by Eldorado Resorts; and Mardi Gras Casino & Resort in suburban Charlestown, that includes a greyhound track, purchased in January by Delaware North, the Buffalo-based hospitality giant that also owns Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack (formerly Wheeling Downs), located on Wheeling Island in the middle of the Ohio River and a part of the city of Wheeling. Wheeling Downs conducts greyhound racing five days a week.
GamingToday has learned that Delaware North, a company with over $3.2 billion in yearly revenue, is moving towards designing its own, new-to-the-market betting software and has hired several experienced Las Vegas bookmakers to provide the betting lines for the new operation. An official announcement by Delaware North regarding these moves has yet to be made.
West Virginia now joins New Jersey, Delaware and Mississippi as new states that have begun taking sports bets since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the law banning Nevada-style sports betting everywhere else was unconstitutional. Industry observers say as many as 32 states may be offering legal sports betting within the next five years.