College Basketball Tournaments Help Boost Mountain State Tax Revenue by $77,310
West Virginia sportsbooks generated the second highest weekly gross revenue on record from sports wagering during the week of March 17 to March 23. This creates a bit of financial windfall for the state government, as it also meant a healthy dose of tax revenue to bring the month-to-date total to $124,690.52. West Virginia bettors wagered almost twice as much as they did the previous week, which generated more than three times as much gross revenue for casinos. This spike in activity can be attributed to the commencement of the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Basketball tournaments, often one of the most popular times of the year for sports fans and gamblers.
2019 kicked off with the highest monthly handle on record ($22,431,186.55) generated in January, which brought $174,623.35 in taxes. However, this excitement was tempered in February, as sportsbooks only brought in an estimated $171,089.56 in gross revenue during the month for only $17,108.95 in taxes. This was not totally indicative of bettors losing interest, as West Virginia residents and visitors wagered $16,609,597.03 in February, despite minimal sports to bet on. Bettors seemed to have more luck in February, resulting in less money for sportsbooks and the state government. March appears to be putting West Virginia on the right track.
However, the rise in betting is not as high as it could have been. Sports gambling has been offline at Delaware North’s Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island casinos since March 8, leaving bettors with fewer outlets and no online betting in the state. With recent news of Delaware North terminating its contract with its management services provider, Miomni, online gambling in the Mountain State – and its considerable tax revenue – is on hold.