West Virginia casino delays launch of mobile sportsbetting service

The boss of the West Virginia Lottery, John Myers, has declared that it is to be ‘several more weeks’ before the state’s Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races venue begins offering a mobile sportsbetting service.

DraftKings alliance:

According to a Wednesday report from local radio broadcaster, West Virginia MetroNews, the disclosure comes after last month’s revelation by the casino owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties Incorporated that it had finished testing the online innovation, which is to be run in partnership with DraftKings Incorporated.

Testing times:

Once operational, the mobile sportsbetting app from Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races will reportedly allow aficionados located anywhere in West Virginia to place wagers on a wide range of sporting action. However, Myers stated that its debut has now been delayed after these trials uncovered that one of the service’s two servers was located in New Jersey, which could leave the state exposed to the United States Department of Justice’s new interpretation of the Interstate Wire Act.

Myers reportedly told West Virginia MetroNews…

“The location of one of the servers was in question during the testing period. I think we have agreement among everybody that that needs to be located in the state of West Virginia in order to make sure that there is not an issue or violation of the federal [Interstate] Wire Act.”

Federal fears:

The radio broadcaster reported that the server in question has been designed to check whether punters have sufficient account funds to lodge a wager while a West Virginia-based counterpart is due to handle the actual placing of bets on behalf of DraftKings Incorporated. But, Myers stated that the federal government’s latest reading of the Interstate Wire Act means that all functions associated with online sportsbetting must now be done without travelling across state lines.

Myers said…

“They are going to have to split two functions that are on that existing server. For that to occur, it’s going to have to take some time to reprogram and create that split of information on that server. That will allow us to move forward.”

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Fleeting firsts:

Operated by Penn National Gaming Incorporated 7BALL , Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races is located a little over seven miles from West Virginia’s eastern borders with Virginia and Maryland and it is reportedly looking to take advantage of mobile sportsbetting following March’s enactment of the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act. A similar service had been offered by the state’s Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack and Mardi Gras Casino and Resort but was soon shuttered following a purported disagreement between the owner of the venues, Delaware North Companies Incorporated, and third-party iGaming technologies vendor Miomni Gaming.

Myers added…

“There is not a precedent to go by in the law. There’s not a precedent to go by in creating platforms and these systems that move the data around. We are kind of learning as we go.”