Eric Althaus, president and CEO of Mardi Gras Casino & Resort in Cross Lanes, West Virginia, is shown in the new online sports betting bar before the official opening Friday, Dec. 28, 2018.

CHARLESTON - Early revenue figures from the West Virginia Lottery Commission indicate a modest launch for sports wagering mobile apps in the state.

For the week ending Aug. 31 - the week that mobile apps offered by DraftKings and FanDuel launched - mobile gaming apps produced $25,035 in revenue.

FanDuel, affiliated with The Greenbrier casino, launched that Monday, while DraftKings, affiliated with Hollywood Casino in Charles Town, launched on Wednesday of that week.

That revenue compares with $648,974 in revenue from on-site sportsbooks operating at three of the state's five casinos for the week.

While numbers for the week ending Sept. 7 have yet to be posted, Lottery financials for the Sept. 6-8 weekend shows mobile app revenue of $28,295.

That number would have been considerably higher had not the mobile apps sustained losses of $76,442 on Sunday, as the first full day of NFL games this season featured several major upsets, including the Tennessee Titans upending the Cleveland Browns.

During the three-day period, mobile app players wagered $1.12 million and collected $1.09 million in winnings.

Saturday was the busiest day, with $448,979 in wagers, ahead of $431,417 wagered Sunday.

"The total handle was up with the start of the football season, as projected, and we expect the mobile app play to grow in future weeks," said Lottery Director John Myers.

When Delaware North simultaneously launched on-site sportsbooks at its Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island casinos and mobile wagering apps late last December, revenue from the mobile apps similarly started slow, growing over the next five to six weeks.

However, Delaware North shut down both its BetLucky app and sportsbooks at the casinos in early March over a legal dispute with its gaming technology provider and has been offline since.

While sports betting apps can be downloaded from any location, under the state law legalizing sports betting, the apps are required to have geolocation technology to verify that the bettor is in West Virginia when wagers are placed.

The state collects a 10% privilege tax on sports betting revenues, amounting to $2,503.50 on sports betting apps for the week ending Aug. 31.

Reach Phil Kabler at philk@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-1220, or follow @PhilKabler on Twitter.


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