n the month of September, West Virginia online casinos generated nearly $4.7 million in revenue, which was an increase of more than $200,000 from the previous month. September’s total handle almost hit $180 million, a climb of about $32 million from August, becoming the most wagers accepted in a month, surpassing the mark of $153 million in June, reports PlayWV.
Although the revenue didn’t increase as much as the betting handle, it did have a 5% increase from the previous month. As stated by the media previously named, for the first time since June, Hollywood Casino’s DraftKings West Virginia led all others in revenue with more than $2.1 million. BetMGM Casino West Virginia along with FanDuel West Virginia combined for just over $2 million in earnings.
In regards to the monthly handle, betting figures increased by 26% compared to the previous month. Its two online casinos took in the most handle by a sizable amount, with FanDuel and BetMGM seeing a total of nearly $95 million in handle in September, which is about $24 million more than betting in August, as reported by PlayWV.
The online casinos reached $20 million in wagers every week, including over $27 million for the third week. In the week of September 12 alone, the two online casinos were able to take over USD $17 million of bets in total, and the overall handle exceeded USD $10 million in each of the last four weeks.
Every other week, the two online casinos would earn at least USD $109,000 in revenue, however, this has already gone above USD $200,000 four times in the last nine weeks. Since West Virginia has imposed a 15% privilege tax on mobile betting, the state has already earned over USD $200,000 in just two months.
Furthermore, video lottery machines brought in $39.5 million in September, outpacing racetrack video lottery machines located at the five casinos operating in West Virginia.
State Lottery Director John Myers said there are several reasons LVLs are performing well including their location in smaller venues that produce smaller crowds. “I think that’s accounted for some of this,” Myers said Wednesday, as reported by WV MetroNews. “You’ve seen it in other venues, such as movie theaters, people avoid going into a crowd but feel more comfortable going into a venue where 10 people are playing.”
The LVLs locations have also benefited from a year-old state law that allows some locations to have up to 10 machines. The limit was seven.
Revenues from iGaming continue to perform better than sports betting. Revenue from iGaming for September was $757,000 while sports betting garnered approximately $541,000. Myers said those numbers may be surprising to some.
“I think there’s a little surprise from the original development of the game but after we started seeing the size of the sports wagering market, the number of participants, iGaming certainly has an edge on it and I think we’ll continue to see it outperform, maybe two to three times what we see in sports wagering.”
The Lottery Commission approved licenses for three additional iGaming service producers Wednesday including FanDuel, Golden Nugget and Rush Street. All three will be skins on casino apps. The commission also approved a license for Golden Nugget for a sports betting skin connected to the casino at The Greenbrier.
Since the state passed the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act in 2019, online casino betting has become legal, however, the state has focused on working on local mobile sports betting regulation. It wasn’t until April 29, 2021, when the West Virginia Lottery Commission approved a set of emergency rules to govern and regulate online casinos.
Online casino games like slot machines, blackjack, and poker are now playable in the local casinos in West Virginia. Players can also choose to play live dealer games where they can play with a dealer and other players as well.
Since the pandemic, online casinos reported a spike in their traffic. As people were forced to stay at home and entertain themselves during this time, casino gaming became a newfound hobby for many. This and the lack of sports events pushed the growth of online casino players worldwide, reports The Daily Gazette.
Many states are starting to have the need for more revenues because of the pandemic and regulating local online casinos has become part of the solution.