West Virginia sports bettors found two retail and mobile wagering platforms shuttered ahead of March Madness in 2019. Looks like they might have better luck this year. On Tuesday, IGT announced a partnership with Delaware North, owners of the Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island casinos, as well as properties in Arkansas.
In the release, executives from both Delaware North and IGT explicitly say that Delaware North can count on IGT as a reliable partner; last year, the company landed in a dispute with former partner Miomni, which resulted in it having to shut down sports betting.
“IGT is a serious sports betting technology provider with a proven commitment to customer success, excellent global reputation, and a reliable, omni-channel sports betting solution for the U.S. market,” Brian Hansberry, Delaware North’s Gaming Division President said. “We believe the IGT PlaySports solution will help us establish Delaware North as a preferred sports betting provider in West Virginia and Arkansas while enabling us to further reward our Lucky North Club members.”
From IGT’s Enrico Drago, the PlayDigital Senior Vice President: “Delaware North can count on IGT’s experienced team and trusted technology to help build a sports betting business that can scale for the opportunities of today and the future.”
Legal dispute shut down sports betting in 2018
In late December 2018, Delaware North launched in West Virginia with Miomni’s BetLucky app, only to shut it down with no warning on March 8. Delaware North went on to sue Miomni for fraud, claiming it misrepresented its ownership stake in the BetLucky platform.
Since then, both DraftKings and FanDuel have gone live with their sportsbooks in West Virginia.
Sports betting is expected to return to @delawarenorth casinos Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island in West Virginia. It was halted after cutting ties with software supplier Miomni last year.
See the full story here and check out Fantini's reports: https://t.co/hbYpsU6EdZ
— Hannah Wilmarth (@Fantini_Hannah) January 23, 2020
When Delaware North will launch its mobile app is open-ended. The company did not offer any timeframe, and last week West Virginia Lottery chief John Meyers said “very, very soon. It’s not going to be too long,” according to a Charleston Gazette-News story.
West Virginia was among the first states to have legal sports betting after the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was struck down in May 2018, and the first operator in that state went live on Aug. 30, 2018. Only Delaware, New Jersey and Mississippi had live, legal sports betting sooner. Sportsbooks at the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, The Casino Club at the Greenbrier Resort and the Mountaineer Casino have been open throughout.
IGT will also power the sportsbook at the Southland Casino Racing in West Memphis, Ark. Arkansas voters legalized sports betting on the November 2018 ballot and the first operator went live in July 2019.
MGM became the third live mobile sports betting vendor in West Virginia, when it launched on Wednesday using a “skin” from The Greenbrier. FanDuel and DraftKings also have mobile platforms in West Virginia.