West Virginia arrives in the number five spot.
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races will be the first sportsbook to accept sports wagers and officially launch West Virginia sports betting on Sept. 1.
Timothy J. Wilmott, Chief Executive Officer of Penn National Gaming, owners of Hollywood Casino, commented in a press release:
“Penn National is excited to soon begin offering sports wagering for our customers in West Virginia. The enthusiasm around sports betting has been growing since the federal ban was repealed in May, and we look forward to providing our patrons with another great amenity to enjoy at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.”
With the launch, West Virginia becomes the fifth state to legalize sports betting since the overturning of PAPSA in May. To date, sports betting is currently legal and operational in:
It seems a new sportsbook is announced each week in states with legalized sports betting. Penn National, however, will enjoy being first to market in West Virginia. And it stands to also enjoy being the only sportsbook for a while.
Greenbrier and FanDuel Sportsbook have a confirmed a partnership in the state, and they received approval from regulators last week. However, neither company has confirmed a launch date. That leaves many to speculate they are not close to being ready.
Hollywood Casino located in a “hotbed” of sporting events
Hollywood Casino, the largest of West Virginia’s five casinos, is about a 90-minute drive from Washington D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland making its location near-perfect.
“Our customers can’t wait to begin wagering on sports,” Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races General Manager Scott Saunders. “This region is a hotbed of both professional sports and college athletics, and we look forward to becoming a destination for fans in West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC.”
Penn National will be bringing William Hill with it into the Mountain State.
Most likely, West Virginia’s first sportsbook will have the William Hill name. It follows the precedent set with William Hill’s other U.S. partnerships. Although specific plans are scarce, there is little doubt, an online and mobile version of sports betting will follow.
The new sportsbook will be near the Skybox Sports Bar. The company is busy putting the final touches on its brand new concept. Sports bettors and fans can expect a new wall of televisions and a variety of sports action from around the world.
Penn National grabbing the spotlight
It seems a gaming company has to make several jaw-dropping announcements in the same week to stay relevant in these fast news cycles. Mission accomplished for Penn National.
Just prior to the company announcing the start of West Virginia sports betting, it shared plans to launch sports betting at five of its Mississippi properties. No details on any partnerships yet. It would not be surprising to see an extension of their existing partnership with William Hill.
Penn National also planted its flag in the race for sports betting in Pennsylvania. Just a few days after The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) released the final sports betting regulations, Penn National got it line.
Its subsidiary Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing, operators of Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, were the first applicants for a sports betting license in Pennsylvania.
Gaming Control Board has received first petition to request offering sports wagering from Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing, operator of @HollywoodPenn
— PGCB (@PAGamingControl) August 17, 2018
Even though it seems like things are moving ahead in Pennsylvania, the PGCB indicated Pennsylvania sports betting wouldn’t launch until at least October.
Penn National and William Hill are taking a no-holds-bar approach to sports betting growth. If the July sports betting revenue out of New Jersey is any indication, the two companies are smart for charging ahead at full speed.