West Virginia had a very successful opening in casinos dealing with sports gambling. Reportedly, the gamblers bet over $600,000 during the first week of opening itself. Due to the recent economic setback faced by West Virginia, sports gambling can be a blessing in disguise for the state to compensate for worrisome revenue otherwise.
With five popular casinos, and four horse and dog tracks, the state is very open to gambling. The casinos offer all the standard services such as video lottery terminals, monitored by the lottery commission, where customers play video games as a gamble. The games range from blackjack, keno, slots and various sort of poker games, for instance, Texas Hold-em. Apart from the video arcades, various slot machines, as well as table games, are housed in the casinos for the entertainment of their clients. There is also a famed resort hotel housing a casino with table games, but it is accessible only by the private guests and hotel residents. Although gambling generates profits for the state, often running into hundreds of millions of dollars, sports gambling is noted to be on the rise.
Sports betting is also facilitated by the recent Supreme Court ruling, as well as the legalization of the same by the legislature of the state of West Virginia. With the legal support, several casinos have expressed interest to open themselves to sports gambling. After the state made sports betting legal, the first casino to offer sportsbooks was Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. Several other states apart from West Virginia followed suit of legalizing sports gambling after the Supreme Court ruling. States like Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, Pennsylvania offer sportsbooks in their casinos as well as racetracks.
Hollywood Casino, which is an hour drive from Washington D.C. towards the west, provides sports betting for various games including auto racing, football, basketball, and even tennis. In West Virginia, NFL and NCAA matches are popular choices for the customers, particularly West Virginia games; for example, many people gamble heavily over the match of West Virginia vs. Tennessee.
With the recent legalization as well as the interest of the clients, West Virginia’s casino experts predict the sports gambling will quickly be a profitable chain of business for the casinos and racetracks in the state. The state will also benefit, in terms of the gambling tax that will be collected. West Virginia is reeling under unemployment which is the highest in the region. With the advent of sports betting taking off, it is expected that employment for the state’s citizens will also be generated. With good profit, the casinos and racetracks will also be able to get back a good amount of market share, at least within the Washington D.C. region. After the MGM National Harbor casino in Baltimore was opened in 2017, West Virginia had lost most of its gaming revenue.
Since Maryland is still under the process of legalizing sports betting and the bill cannot be passed sooner than 2020, West Virginia has around two years to monopolize the sports gambling market, leaving behind Washington D.C. The state hopes to be the gambling hub in the area, and with the right administrative steps, it just might be able to realize its dream.