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The wait for mobile sports betting options in West Virginia could end this month, and it would be just in time for bettors and sportsbook operators to capitalize on the busy upcoming football season.
The state’s Lottery Director John Myers met with the media on Wednesday to say he’s confident the long-awaited mobile wagering apps will be up and running before the first full week of the college football season starts on Aug. 31.
“We’ve wanted to see it up and running as much as anybody,” Myers told the media, according to wvmetronews.com. “I know there’s some concern that it’s taken a while but when you do something for the time you have to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. Now we think we’re there.”
Official West Virginia Announcements Coming Soon
Which specific operators will be rolling out sports betting apps in West Virginia in the coming weeks? That remains unclear.
The wvmetronews.com report suggested the apps might come from industry leaders DraftKings and FanDuel, who have partnered with the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in Ranson and The Greenbrier casino in White Sulphur Springs, respectively.
Official confirmation as to which apps ready to go live before football season will come directly from the companies themselves and could happen as soon as this weekend.
“I can say we’re getting very close,” Myers said, according to a report from the Herald-Dispatch in Huntington.
Other longshot possibilities include the Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort in New Cumberland, who has partnered with William Hill, and the two Delaware North casino properties, which includes the Wheeling Island Casino in Wheeling and Mardi Gras Casino in Cross Lanes.
BetLucky App Released, Shut Down This Year
Delaware North was the first company to offer a mobile sports betting app in West Virginia in January. Their BetLucky app was rolled out through a partnership with technology vendor Miomni and was a hit with West Virginians during its short time on the market.
In just more than one month, the handle taken via Delaware North’s mobile betting app was more than was bet at the two sportsbook’s physical locations.
But Delaware North shut the app down in March after a contract dispute between Miomni and one of their competitors, Enterg Software Solutions. Since BetLucky stopped service, bettors in West Virginia have been without a mobile betting platform entirely. Meanwhile, Delaware North terminated its contract with Miomni and the company sued for fraud in response.
It’s unclear how and when Delaware North will move forward in regards to mobile betting now.
DraftKings Summer Launch Delayed
The DraftKings mobile betting app was originally scheduled to go through a soft launch campaign at the end of May so that testing could be completed before a planned full-scale summer roll-out. But when June rolled around, the app was still offline.
Later in the month, West Virginia Lottery officials announced the launch was shelved because of concerns around the Federal Wire Act of 1961. That law had been aimed at cracking down on organized crime by making it illegal to transmit bets and betting information across state lines through telephone wires and other technology.
Lottery officials wanted to verify that legal wagers placed within the state using these new mobile betting apps would not be unintentionally breaking that federal law. According to the Herald-Dispatch.com, the state obtained a letter of recommendation from the Attorney General’s Office which outlined necessary steps providers should take to ensure compliance.
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