March Madness seems to get better every year, and the 2022 version has not disappointed. Some favorites have dominated, while others have been dumped out much sooner than expected. Every tournament needs a Cinderella, and Saint Peter’s is one of the most heartwarming underdogs in recent memory. This tournament has shown that anything can happen, and US bettors have had a great time trying to predict these games and sometimes making great profits.
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West Virginia Sports Wagering Activity Declines in Feb, but Online Betting is on the Rise
West Virginia betting has some of the best legal US online gambling available. Thanks to a variety of West Virginia sportsbooks, bettors can always find a wager that appeals to them. But February was a challenging month for sportsbook operators in the Mountain State.
Thanks to the Super Bowl, February is traditionally one of the most critical months for sports betting operators in the US and beyond. Because of that, retail and mobile sports betting performance are always looked at closely in February. This year, WV sports betting apps performance failed to meet January’s figures, let alone grow. Therefore it is worth looking at what caused this temporary sportsbook app decline.
WV Experiences Sports Betting Decline in February
West Virginia betting took a step back in February of 2021, seeing an overall decrease in both betting handle and sportsbook revenue generated compared to January.
West Virginia Sports Betting Handle
West Virginia’s sports betting is regulated by the West Virginia Lottery. In addition to the state’s legal US online gambling on sports, it also regulates online casinos and betting on races. Each month, the West Virginia Lottery releases financial information on revenue across all types of gambling. Included in that data is info on West Virginia sportsbook performance.
According to the state lottery in February of 2021, WV sports betting had an overall betting handle of $38.2 million. That number was down from the state’s sports betting performance in January, which totaled $50.7 million. In-person handle in February totaled $11.1 million, down from $17.7 million the month prior.
In addition to the decline in handle from brick and mortar sports betting, West Virginia online and mobile sportsbook operators also saw a decrease in activity. Handle through WV sports betting website and app providers was $27 million in February, down sharply from a sportsbook app handle of $32.9 million in January 2021.
West Virginia Sports Betting Revenue
Revenues for sports betting in West Virginia for February was $1.3 million, which was roughly a third of January’s revenues of $3.9 million. Clearly, the decline in sports betting activities in West Virginia resulted in less tax revenues for the state, where WV generated in February tax revenues of $116,000, compared to $338,000 in January.
Possible Reasons for the Fall in WV Revenue
The Super Bowl was in February, which was expected to increase WV sports betting handle from month to month. But the West Virginia sportsbook industry saw most bettors wager on the rest of the NFL playoffs in January. In addition, February is a shorter month. As a result, the second week of February was the only week of this fiscal year where the WV sports betting market actually posted a loss.
The Super Bowl each February has been used to encourage bettors to try mobile sports betting through generous promotions and bonuses which also reduced profits. With that in mind, every WV sportsbook operator has still generated revenue for the state thus far.
Preparing for March Madness
March Madness will provide WV sports betting operators another look at high-profile sporting events over an extended period of time. There will be more opportunities for West Virginia sportsbook revenue in that tournament than during the Super Bowl. Thus, it will be interesting to see how the March West Virginia betting revenue compares to February.
Improvement From 2020
There has been concern related to the month-to-month decrease in legal US gambling revenue in West Virginia. But some perspective is required in the form of a year-over-year comparison. WV sports betting lost the state over a half million dollars in February of 2020. While February 2021 still generated a revenue of around roughly $750,000.
Online Gaming Grew Despite Overall Performance
Although West Virginia’s sports betting was in decline, the increase in casino gaming helped make up for the sports betting shortfall. The increase in the casino portion of legal US gambling in West Virginia should ease any discomfort with February’s West Virginia betting numbers. So technically, bettors shifted their funds from one type of legal US online gambling to another.
That is better than both the mobile sports betting and casino handle being down, which could be a sign of broader shifts in interest. Instead, these numbers just indicate a lull in mobile sports betting opportunities outside of the Super Bowl in February.
West Virginia’s Sportsbook Market
The US legal betting landscape in West Virginia is a competitive one and has been for years. There are five US online sports betting operators up and running in this state. Each of them has their own sports betting app. For a state with such a small geographic area, that number of sportsbook app options is difficult to compete with.
Here is a list of the sports mobile betting options that exist in West Virginia, along with which the land-based casino each mobile sportsbook is licensed through.
- DraftKings Sportsbook (Hollywood Casino)
- FanDuel Sportsbook (Greenbrier)
- BetMGM (Greenbrier)
- William Hill (Mountaineer)
- Betly (Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island)
It is also possible that another sports betting operator will be coming to West Virginia. Hollywood Casino has displayed Barstool Sportsbook app branding on its website. With Barstool Sports mobile betting making a huge splash in other states, that could be a noteworthy addition to the state’s mobile sportsbook repertoire.
Legal Sports Betting in the US.
The West Virginia sportsbook industry isn’t the only place for US legal betting. States around the country such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania have also legalized US online sports betting and mobile sportsbook action. A number of states have also permitted online casino and poker action in addition to their sports betting app legalization. In those states, bettors simply need to be 21 years of age or older and located within state lines to be eligible to place legal bets.
West Virginia bettors can get a bonus for signing up to place legal wagers through our website. Click here now to get your sign-up bonus and start placing fun and legal wagers on sports now.
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