FanDuel and Penn National gain sportsbook licenses in West Virginia, with the first legal wager expected to be taken at the Hollywood Casino Charles Town in September.
The first legal wager in the state will likely be taken at the Hollywood Casino Charles Town, owned by Penn National, where William Hill will probably be providing the sportsbook, whilst FanDuel will operate a sportsbook at The Greenbrier at White Sulphur Springs.
Interestingly, The Greenbrier holds a pretty big ‘secret’ – with a vast bunker system built underneath to provide a place of refuge for the US government in time of nuclear war or other catastrophe. Constructed from 1959-62, under the code name ‘Project Greek Island‘ and kept supplied for 30 years, today some of it is used for private storage and tours are offered. But, who knows if they have revealed all of it?
Indeed, the world in Fallout 76 is based on a condensed version of West Virginia, and features the Greenbrier!
Despite being a relatively small state, with a population of just under 2 million and one of the lowest median household incomes in the United States (48th), West Virginia or the “Mountain State” as it is known, is nevertheless in a geographically convenient position for attracting out-of-state punters – the Hollywood Casino Charles Town, in particular, being a short drive from both Washington DC and Baltimore.
The state of West Virginia will be cashing in on the sports betting rollout, with Penn National reportedly paying $100,000 for its license and a further 10% tax on its revenues. The state lottery is hoping to earn about $5.5 million from sports betting during the 2019 fiscal year.
The Hollywood Casino Charles Town will be testing systems through August, with a sportsbook launch expected in early September. Each casino in the state can host up to three different sportsbook operators, so there is plenty of scope for expansion.