Football season in West Virginia just got a whole lot better.
After a five-month hiatus, online sports betting returned to West Virginia with the launch of apps from FanDuel and DraftKings last week. According to an PlayWV, FanDuel’s app went live on August 26th and DraftKings followed two days later.
Although online sports betting first launched in December 2018 with the BetLucky app sponsored by the Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras Casinos, a third-party contract dispute left WV residents without an online betting option since March.
That all changed last month.
What does this mean for PA?
The newest apps in West Virginia should have a minimal impact on the profit margins of Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks. A small number of West Virginia residents may have crossed into PA to make online bets, but West Virginia has had retail sportsbooks since September 2018. It’s likely most of Pennsylvania’s handle comes from in-state residents.
PA residents can bet online in neighboring states too
The greater significance is perhaps the expanded access to online sports betting in general. Pennsylvanians now have access to online sportsbooks even when they’re traveling east into New Jersey or west into West Virginia. New York has also opened a number of retail sportsbooks and is likely to offer some online options in the near future. According to LegalvSports Report, Maryland considered sports betting last year, but delayed the vote and will reevaluate things in 2020.
FanDuel, DraftKings continue upward trends
The latest apps also provide another boost to both the FanDuel and DraftKings brands. Those providers are typically the top performers in handle in New Jersey. FanDuel has an app and a retail sportsbook in Pennsylvania at Valley Forge Casino Resort. DraftKings is expected to enter the PA market soon via a partnership with The Meadows Casino in Washington.
Competition could breed benefits for PA bettors
As the number of online betting providers (both in PA and beyond) continues to grow, the real winners might be the betting public. Competition among the various providers should lead to more choices, more options, and perhaps even better pricing as well.
Pennsylvania currently has five online sportsbooks
Five more are expected to launch before the end of the year
- Harrah’s Philadelphia
- DraftKings (The Meadows)
- BetAmerica (Presque Isle)
- Hollywood Casino
- Mohegan Sun Pocono
Many online bettors have taken advantage of generous promotional offers that accompany new site launches. There will certainly be more opportunities for those arriving soon.
Westward expansion is likely next for sports betting
The northeast United States has been fertile ground for sports betting, with a number of states legalizing sports betting and working to expand it. The next chapter will likely see the movement expand westward with a number of other states that have shown some interest in sports betting.
In West Virginia, sports betting is now live online. Other states and other apps will certainly follow.
Quite frankly, there’s a lot more to come.