BetLucky And Two WV Sportsbooks Contribute To Massive Drop in Handle

Written By Chris Imperiale on March 22, 2019Last Updated on March 15, 2023
BetLucky leads to massive drop in handle

West Virginia sports betting had a lousy week, overall. With the news that Wheeling Island Sportsbook, Mardi Gras Casino Sportsbook, and the BetLucky mobile sports betting app shut down, the betting figures within the state declined for the week ending March 9.

The total handle dropped fairly significantly and only grossed a little more than $3.1 million in wagers. It is the lowest it’s fallen since early December – just before Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras Casino came online.

On a brighter note, sportsbooks were still able to bring in a positive revenue stream. As a whole, they generated over $250,000. Even though this is a decrease from a week ago, any revenue in the red is not considered a bad thing.

When taking a more in-depth look at the revenue, though, you’ll see that Hollywood Casino Sportsbook was the main reason for making money. Three other books finished the week in the negative.

This week’s report includes activity from March 3-9 for all five WV sportsbooks:

BetLucky Sportsbook has reporting for five days of operation during the week. Its figures are included its respective casinos’ totals for the week.

WV Sports Betting Summary

Here are the latest figures released by the WV Lottery Commission since WV sports betting revenue tracking began in August 2018:

  • Handle: $88,596,456.02
  • Revenue: $8,716,835.71
  • Taxes: $871,683.67

The week of March 9 was a tough one for sportsbooks, despite still finishing in the black. The overall handle fell all the way down to $3,129,810.68. It is an 18 percent decrease from the week prior. You would have to go back to November to find a week with a lower handle.

Although the revenue was positive, it too fell a good amount. The total revenue equaled $251,505.28. This is a 66 percent decrease from the previous week. Another disappointment as March Madness and MLB futures should have propelled betting.

WV sports betting revenue for the week ending March 9, 2019

A Closer Look At WV Sports Betting Handle

As mentioned, the handle for this report was way down in comparison to recent weeks. Hollywood Casino again finds itself comfortably at the top with nearly $2 million. This is the highest it’s been in three weeks.

In a switch up this week, Mountaineer has jumped over both Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island with almost $600,000. Even though Mountaineer grew its handle from a week ago, it’s more of a telling sign for the other two sportsbooks.

Both Mardi Gras and Wheeling were suspended from sports betting for the last two days of this report and will have nothing moving forward until their contract dispute is resolved.

The BetLucky Sportsbook is closed, and according to the WV Lottery, the suspension is likely to last a while longer.  We will get a true understanding of the suspension’s effects in the next weekly report.

Here’s how the WV sportsbooks rank for the weekly handle:

  1. Hollywood Casino ($1,800,502.39)
  2. Mountaineer Casino ($585,561.15)
  3. Mardi Gras Casino ($416,002.45)
  4. Wheeling Island ($284,029.19)
  5. The Greenbrier ($43,715.50)

A Closer Look At WV Sports Betting Revenue

Revenue for the week was still up, but that is only because of how well Hollywood Casino performed. The sportsbook led in revenue once again, turning in a solid week that with close to $250,000.

That’s pretty much where the good news ends.

Wheeling Island still managed to make a profit. However, this is its worst week in a month in regards to revenue. Mardi Gras Casino also endured its lowest week in a month.

Mobile sports betting saw a big falloff in revenue as well. In its last week until further notice or a new online sportsbook launches, BetLucky only brought in $44,558.59 in online revenue for both of its casinos.

The decline is a 68 percent decrease compared to last week. BetLucky’s closure will have an obvious impact on WV sports betting. We’ll get a better picture next week.

Part of what may be extending Hollywood’s lead in both categories could be its convenient location to both Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

Some bettors from these cities could very easily travel over the state line to place bets such as March Madness futures for the tournament about to begin. Mountaineer might see a bump from the closures. Wheeling Island is located about an hour south of the sportsbook.

Here’s how the WV sportsbooks rank for weekly revenue:

  1. Hollywood Casino ($239,427.24)
  2. Wheeling Island ($27,007.49)
  3. Mardi Gras Casino ($-198.00)
  4. The Greenbrier ($-3,349.25)
  5. Mountaineer Casino ($-11,382.20)

On the board for WV sportsbooks

Finally, March Madness has begun. The NCAA Tournament tipped off yesterday and for the next three weeks expect plenty of wagers and bracket-buster bad beat tales. Make sure to place your bets in at one of the three legal WV sportsbooks.

There has also been plenty of movement among NFL teams’ odds to win next year’s Super Bowl following the first wave of free agency. With the acquisition of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., the Browns have suddenly entered the discussion among the favorites for next season.

New Jersey sportsbooks show the following as favorites to win the Super Bowl:

  • New England Patriots
  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Los Angeles Rams
  • Cleveland Browns
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Chris Imperiale

Chris Imperiale covers sports betting and the online casino industries. He has a journalism degree from Rutgers University and was formerly on staff at Bleacher Report.

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