West Virginia iGaming

‘West Virginia iGaming Market Performance Beckons Playtech & Evolution!’ (Image Source: www.evolution.com/our-games/live-casino)

The West Virginia iGaming market is booming after reporting revenues of $155.2 million from its online sports betting and iGaming casino/poker gaming entities, yet the good news comes via the online casino sector as online sportsbooks face revenue setbacks.

In February, the iGaming industry took in an astounding $117 million in revenue. This was an unprecedented rise of 18%. This was inclusive of video slots and table games such as poker, blackjack, baccarat, and roulette games, while there are still no live dealer studios operating in the state.

Online casino revenues are even more impressive considering there are 2 active casino brands which are currently DraftKings in cooperation with Hollywood Casino and BetMGM casino which operates at the Greenbrier. Golden Nugget Casino is also about to begin its online casino and incidentally enough, all 3 of these casinos have deals with Evolution’s studios in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Adding to this, out of the 5 states that allow online casinos, West Virginia has the fourth-lowest population, but it is right up there with the likes of Michigan (10 million), New Jersey (9 million), and Pennsylvania (13 million). Only Delaware has a lower population with less than 1 million residents,

Are these figure enough for a live dealer studio brand to enter WV?

$117 million is a big number for a state with such a low population. A fully blown Playtech Live or Evolution live casino studio may not work, but a small studio with a wheel of fortune, blackjack, roulette, and baccarat tables could be worthwhile.

As the state’s population is small, there is no need for a large studio and as such, any floor space in one of West Virginia’s land-based casinos could be feasible. For Playtech Live, which is now making numerous deals within the US, namely Novomatic early this month and a deal with Parx Casino in February, but these deals currently focus on Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

The West Virginia market began in 2019, so it is still early days to tell how successful and how much more growth there is in the state’s iGaming market.

Online Sports Betting Takes a Nosedive

There is one kink in the armoury for live dealer firms when assessing which markets to enter, and that is consistency. Although iGaming is growing, in West Virginia’s other online betting vertical, namely sports betting, there was a drop off in February.

February’s results show a $38.2 million revenue – a drop of 24.6% from the previous month’s $50.7 million. This is in spite of the Superbowl which should have created a mini betting frenzy as it did in other states where online sports betting and/or land-based sports betting is legal. To add further insult to injury, that is a decline of 3.5% from February 2020.

A large portion of bets are usually placed via mobile, but there were $27 million worth of bets made which is 17.7% less than January, and 1.3% since 2020’s impressive figures. In terms of tax, this is a drop from $337,990 in January to $115,954 in February – not exactly a mind-blowing figure or what the state legislators had in mind when approving online sports betting in the state.

No cause for concern:  January 2020 in New Jersey sports betting revenues were $46.6 million and suddenly dropped to $15.9 million in February 2020, yet the January 2021 reported $74. Million!

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