West Virginia’s Wheeling Island Casino Targets Fall Opening of Sportsbook

Wheeling Island Casino targets fall launch of sports betting, football season on property’s radar

Legal sports betting is almost ready to arrive at Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Racetrack in Wheeling, West Virginia, although an official date for the launch of the property’s sportsbook is yet to be announced.

The gambling venue’s parent company, Delaware North, announced earlier this week an important step toward the eventual commencement of sports betting operations. The gaming and hospitality company revealed it has joined forces with Nevada-based mobile betting technology provider Miomni Gaming to jointly manage a turnkey omni-channel solution at the Wheeling Island Casino’s sportsbook as well as Delaware North’s other West Virginia property, Mardi Gras Casino & Resort in Cross Lanes.

The two hotel and casino resorts were expected to go live with brick-and-mortar wagering services by the end of September, but their parent company informed the West Virginia Lottery Commission late last month that the launch would be delayed due to unspecified reasons.

In comments to local news outlets, Wheeling Island Casino President and General Manager Kim Florence said this week that they are targeting a fall opening of the sports betting facility and that the ongoing football season is on their radar.

Of their partnership with Miomni, Ms. Florence said that they have completed a very helpful step and that they rely heavily on the gaming and betting service provider for “a lot of recommendations in terms of how to set up [their] sportsbook”.

The Wheeling Island Casino President further pointed out that they really want to make sure that their sportsbook is 100% ready and that they are offering the best experience possible to their customers.

Lottery Commission Rejects Integrity Fee Proposal

As Wheeling Island Casino and its sister property Mardi Gras Casino are getting closer to launching sports betting, the West Virginia Lottery Commission has made important decisions in relation to the regulation of the state’s nascent wagering market.

Earlier this, week the regulatory body reviewed and voted on 18 proposed changes to the current rules under which sports betting services are provided. Most remarkably, commissioners rejected a proposal spearheaded by professional sports leagues for the latter to receive a portion of what the state generates from sports betting in the form of the so-called integrity fee.

Sports leagues have been pushing for the implementation of an integrity fee in all states where sports betting has been legalized since the mid-May SCOTUS ruling that struck down a long-standing ban on wagering on professional and amateur sporting events. However, none of these states have moved to introduce such fee.

West Virginia legalized sports betting in March and went live with legal sports betting in late April. At present, two of the state’s gambling venues are offering wagering services at physical sportsbooks. Mobile betting is expected to be launched later this fall. During its Wednesday meeting, the Lottery Commission approved rule changes that would allow West Virginia bettors to check their mobile betting accounts while in other states. However, they will only be able to place bets while on the territory of West Virginia.

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