Five Casinos Awarded Full iGaming Licenses in West Virginia

270-day interim licenses upgraded

The West Virginia Lottery Commission has awarded full iGaming licenses to all five casinos operating in the Mountain State.

The Lottery Commission upgraded the 270-day interim licenses of Mardi Gras Casino and Resort, Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack, Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, and The Casino Club at The Greenbrier to full license status on December 16.

Licenses cost $250,000 a piece and are valid for five years. Renewals are $100,000 each, also good for five years. West Virginia’s online gambling revenue tax rate is 15%.

The Lottery Commission voted the move through on Wednesday at a regular monthly meeting. In West Virginia, internet gambling operates along the same lines as sports wagering, in some instances integrating with sports betting apps.

West Virginia iGaming highs and lows

According to MetroNews, online gambling raked in $339,000 in revenue in November across the state. The news outlet also said that financial reports presented to the Lottery Commission on Wednesday illustrated that overall gambling revenue for November was $72m, which represents a $12m decrease when compared to the same month in 2019.

While Racetrack Video Lottery limps along, dropping around $44m for the fiscal year, Limited Video Lottery (LVL) is setting a good pace. Through the first five months of the current fiscal year, West Virginia’s community slots have brought in $20m year-on-year over the first five months of the previous fiscal year.

November, however, was a struggle for LVL, with gross revenue dropping sharply. Statewide revenue from over 7,000 video lottery machines in over 1,200 clubs, bars, and fraternal organizations dipped to $32.7m in November, down $4.6m from October.

Increased engagement

Governor Jim Justice, owner of The Casino Club at The Greenbrier, paved the way for iGaming to become legal in West Virginia after he chose not to act on legislation sent to his desk in March 2019. By Governor Justice’s inaction, the bill automatically became law.

increase in social media followers across its Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube accounts

In the Wednesday meeting, MetroNews reported, the Lottery Commission members learned about an increase in social media followers across its Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube accounts. Lottery Commission member Ken Greear credited the uptick in social engagement to the marketing staff.

“Their efforts have certainly proven to be successful,” Greear said.

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