It was all nice and happy for the West Virginia Sports betters for the first half, two weeks, of November. It was one of the busiest of the weeks so far. The industry made a ton of money quite fast and at ease. Just the state-regulated operators collected over $6 million in wagers from the masses. On top of that, they recorded the first $3 million-wager week after August. All these numbers are great to see on the charts and make a promising future. But, is that really so? It turns out that the betting industry is running on limited options.
WV sports betting had a projection of a sharp growth which these decent figures fail to match. And, despite they feel commendable alone, together with the net industry expectations, it is not a good sign. And, so much so that people are speculating an imminent stagnation that will surface very soon. To point out the failures, there are many comments. Firstly, people are pointing at the slow release and adoption of online or mobile options. That has been curbing their growth and revenue generation artificially. To keep things in order, this is something that the industry is unable to implement fast and that is causing a loss directly. In short, the delay has been longer than it should have taken and bosses are disappointed with the snail pace.
Secondly, some three months later, just one of the brick and mortar store took some action because of pressure from the locals. They found a friend by the launch of their latest William Hill Sportsbook at their Mountaineer Casino, this Wednesday. So, there are at least two that offers some relief to the people in terms of online experience. A great experience is something that sports betting companies have to count on to gather revenue.
Also, it was noted that the West Virginia books were down by $400,000 with the beginning of the month itself. That changed soon though in the first two weeks of November.
The busy November
Hollywood Casino was lucky to get a headstart in the race. It started the market share with a decent figure but was shortly joined by FanDuel Sportsbook in mid-September. The Hollywood is at a good spot because it operates from a lone sportsbook in the state. The other one is situated in The Greenbrier. They continued with a hot run behind the table and acquired the market in a short time. The tables and machines were all busy. The sports betting is one of the busiest place these days.
FanDuel Sportsbook was not doing well after that because of the in-person wagering only option. To mark the disappointment, though running busy, the action was still much less. It wrote below $150,000 in retail tickets, which is really not a good total for the amount projected initially. This can be really frustrating when you are head of a franchise that manages a substantial share of the state. The above amount was accomplished in the first two weeks of November itself. The second week saw a little more rush than the first, something like $10,000 million. These were the handling amount while the profits were $10,850 and -$33,000 in the two weeks respectively. As one can tell the negative sign does not show a good state of affairs.
Now, returning back to the first one, the William Hill Sportsbook located at Hollywood, it generated the majority of West Virginia’s capital. Their sports betting have collected over $21 million in wagers till date. This is since its launch. The handing amount for the beginning two weeks is $2,761,582 and $2,872,024 respectively. In the rough figures, this translates to a revenue of -$221,278 and -$163,502 respectively for the first and second week. Again, some negative numbers are plagued here. Yet, these losses are neither single occurrences and have been a widespread factor.
They are stuck for sure
WV was projected to produce a net $5.5 million in the first year’s tax revenue as per regulators. And this projection has been far from what happened in reality. It also included the state-wide facilities of online and mobile wagering options. So, with limited options of in-person wagering only, the chances are negligible. The time is fleeing while with the current infrastructure, the opportunity to capture the peak hours of football is also quite uncertain.
Mountaineer Casino served the last one to apply for a license. Similarly, others are not doing really great too after been approved. Having made a slow start, a delayed awakening and having less to no options to capture anything by the end of 2018, their future seems to be stuck. WV Sportsbook is severely going to fall short of the projected revenue.
In the other note, Erich Zimny, who is the Vice President of Racing & Sports Operations, said that, on the contrary taking all the factors in mind, he is generally pleased with their casino’s performance so far. To date, the performance has been fairly good, though not very solid volumes of wagering, and he hopes to make it better.
The hopes of making a great last two weeks ahead are surely not gone. The second week started from 10th. These last few days can bring something about the same. It will still fall short of the expected figures but in all, the effort and possible infrastructure have done more than one could have done.