Last week brought another unforeseen turn of events in the West Virginia sports betting market. Delaware North, the owner and operator of several sportsbooks within the state, has terminated its agreement with its technology provider, Miomni Gaming.

The announcement comes after 23 days of suspended gambling at three WV sportsbooks:

Delaware North was forced to suspend taking wagers at these locations and through its mobile app because Miomni was in the middle of a contract dispute with external vendor Entergaming. This information was acquired from Legal Sports Report through a letter Delaware North sent to WV Lottery Director John Myers.

The suspension itself couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time. Online sports betting was just starting to hit its stride in the state. WV sportsbooks were also preparing for a large boost to betting figures with the March Madness basketball tournament about to begin.

However, now that the damage is done, Delaware North is looking to move forward and regain its footing in WV sports gambling.

Delaware North says goodbye

In what seems likely to be the most beneficial decision for the sports betting operator, Delaware North bid farewell to Miomni despite a promising start to their partnership.

The two companies launched the only mobile sports gambling app in WV and could have had a very strong hold on the online market by now. Even though the BetLucky App wasn’t producing like some of the online sportsbooks in New Jersey, it did have its best performance the week prior to being shut down.

In a statement released last Friday, Delaware North provided some insight into resolving this terrible situation. It said:

“We have notified the West Virginia Lottery Commission that Delaware North is taking steps to terminate its partnership with Miomni Gaming, our management services provider in West Virginia. Since March 6, Miomni’s contract dispute with third-party technology supplier Entergaming has resulted in our inability to accept new sports wagers at our Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras casino sports-betting operations as well as via the BetLucky.com mobile app.”

What’s next for WV online sports betting?

The lack of an online platform in WV is a major concern for the future. The sports betting market has already taken a few steps back in regards to overall handle.

Delaware North will be looking to fix its problem as quickly as possible, but this process could take longer than it wants. It is possible that the company could see a regulatory penalty for the issue.

There is also the question of how the state reacts to the Department of Justice’s new opinion on the Wire Act. Myers has stated WV will be very cautious moving forward with more online wagering until there is more clarification about the legal opinion.

Delaware North said its statement:

“We are evaluating all options to once again provide sports wagering services, and we want our customers to know that identifying and implementing a solution could take several months or longer. In the meantime, we are continuing to honor and redeem all resulted bets and providing our customers with detailed information about how they can access their accounts and withdraw their funds.”

The company could turn to potential partners that are already approved and regulated in WV. Some prime contenders are:

FanDuel is already tied to The Greenbrier, DraftKings to the Hollywood Casino and William Hill operates the Mountaineer Sportsbook as well as Hollywood’s land-based book.

In order for Delaware North to get back to where it wants, it must release a mobile sportsbook before any of the other aforementioned go live. Bettors, however, will gladly take any online sportsbook that will accept their money at this rate.

Delaware North has stated that those who have winning bet tickets or funds within their mobile account should email BetLucky or call (866) 807-4007 to get their money.

Delaware North looking for a fresh start

This move couldn’t have been an easy one for Delaware North. Surely, it will turn out to truly help down the road.

Delaware North now has the chance to get somewhat of a fresh start.

Bettors in WV are not pleased with how this situation went down. It seems unlikely bettors would be trusting of the app the second time around.

It also didn’t help that Delaware North was very vague when trying to address its customers on Twitter.

By leaving BetLucky and Miomni in its rearview mirror, Delaware North can focus on opening a different online sportsbook altogether.

With a new app and a new name, gamblers in WV will be excited to bet on sports from the convenience of their own home once again.

WV needs its mobile betting back

At this point, it seems unlikely BetLucky will be back. And with the WV Lottery proceeding cautiously on approvals it may be a while before a new online sportsbook launches.

With every major sporting event, earning opportunities are being missed.

For instance, the Final Four is taking place this weekend. And unfortunately, WV residents will not be able to place mobile bets.

The next big gambling opportunity on the calendar would be the NHL and NBA postseason. The Stanley Cup playoffs start on April 9, while the NBA playoffs begin on April 13.  The Masters is also on the schedule from April 11-14.

With the way things are going, it doesn’t seem likely an online sportsbook will be available for these either.

Perhaps a realistic date in mind could be for the start of the NBA Finals. The pro basketball championship series is always highly anticipated and typically garners a lot of betting. The Finals tip-off on May 30.

If a new mobile sportsbook isn’t running by June, then the start of the football season would be next. College football starts back up in late Aug. and the NFL’s opening game is on Thursday, Sept. 5.

Hopefully, for both gamblers and the state, this dilemma works itself out quickly so sports betting can go back to being fun.

Chris Imperiale

About

Chris Imperiale covers sports betting and the online casino industries. He has a journalism degree from Rutgers University and was formerly on staff at Bleacher Report.