Most states saw a drop off in revenue and handle over February as football came to an end, and the NBA All-Star Break occurred. As expected, March Madness brought back a high number in revenue and handle. Over the next coming months, we will see baseball in full force, NBA playoffs, and the Masters begins on Thursday. March of 2021 also saw a massive rise over 2020, which bodes well. Given the state of the country over the last year, there are some circumstances that feed into the early numbers, but West Virginia has seen a lot of growth.
While West Virginia has been trying to untether sports betting to casinos of late, the five casinos that partner with BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, William Hill, and Betly. Back in March 2019, there was an 11.5% hold and $1.5M in revenue. March 20 saw a 7.5% hold and $1.1M in revenue. March 2020 was, of course, the start of the pandemic where there was a lot of uncertainty. Moving into March 2021, West Virginia capitalized on mobile and brought in $3.8 in revenue and a 9.1% hold.
February saw the usual drop-off with $1.3M in revenue and only a 3.6% hold, which was the lowest hold since February 2020. In 2019 and 2020, there was a drop-off in April through the summer months, where things began to pick up back during the NFL season. NBA, NHL, and MLB might not be as strong in West Virginia as it is in other states. With mobile betting now here in 2021, we should see a vast improvement.
West Virginia Expansion
In 2021, West Virginia was pushing for sports betting expansion. Seeing some states move to a lottery-ran system creates more money for the state, essentially cutting out some of the casinos. That was proposed this year, with another aim to help small businesses as well. Each of the five casinos in the state can partner with up to three skins per casino.
The bill was aimed for businesses to hold skins within the Mountaineer State as many have suffered extreme losses due to the pandemic. Bars and restaurants would have some links to sportsbooks, but the details were a bit unclear. There was push back as expected, as the racetracks and casinos were against an expansion of licenses. The free market system would be more put in place. E-sports was also included in the bill, which at the moment, those in West Virginia could not wager on E-sports.