Turner Sports’ Bleacher Report released its findings from a study last week that said legal sports betting is more acceptable and popular than ever.
The company released this information while recently getting closer to sports gambling itself.
Turner Sports announced a new partnership with Caesars Entertainment that will include more “gaming-themed content” through media such as Bleacher Report’s website and mobile app.
The expansion of legal sports wagering into the realm of regular media coverage, along with statistics from this study, show how the attitude around betting has drastically changed in a reasonably short period.
This type of optimism can only be beneficial for the West Virginia sports betting market.
Sports betting “socially acceptable”
It was somewhat apparent that legal sports betting is gaining popularity in the US as now eight states take sports wagers. Bleacher Report’s study determined just how accepted it is by one of gambling’s broader demographics.
The report was conducted online and involved 2,000 Americans between the ages of 21 and 34.
It said that two out of three fans find it “socially acceptable” to make legal sports wagers.
The study showed that people are almost twice as likely to bet now than they were a year ago compared to individuals over the age of 35. The survey also stated that one in three sports gamblers place live in-game bets.
This information helps us understand that as legal sports betting continues to grow, so is the public interest and the media coverage around the topic.
It is great news for WV sportsbooks as they contemplate spreading their legal sports gambling wings with mobile sports betting and in-game wagering.
WV sports betting has room for plenty of growth
Legal sports wagering has come a long way in the Mountain State in a very short time. Since legalizing in March 2018, the state has seen sports gambling expand to each of its five casinos and even online with the BetLucky Sportsbook mobile app.
The five casinos with sportsbooks include:
- Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
- Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort
- The Casino Club at The Greenbrier
- Mardi Gras Casino and Resort
- Wheeling Island Hotel
After the first week of legal sports gambling in September, the state combined to pull in a total handle of just over $450,000. The week ending on Feb. 23 saw WV’s overall handle reach $4,132,014.44.
The handle never topped the $4 million point until the calendar switched over to 2019. Even with fewer football games available to bet, WV’s handle has surpassed this mark now six times in the last eight weeks, and the two weeks that didn’t fell just shy.
Overall, the state has taken in more than $81 million in bets, with $7.7 million coming in as revenue. It has provided $772,145.28 in taxes for WV.
From the numbers provided and the information from Bleacher Report, it appears that WV is only scratching the surface of its sports-betting ceiling.
More young people are getting into betting which helps explain the massive mobile handle figures coming out of New Jersey and the growth of mobile in WV.
In fact, according to the study, 63 percent of 21 to 34 year-olds accept sports betting while only 51 percent of all sports fans do.
Bleacher Report Chief Brand Officer Ed Romaine said as much to Reuters.
“Younger people feel comfortable with betting. They don’t think it is a taboo area of activity.”
Key to sports betting growth in WV
One major factor that will help this growth continue is the addition of more online options.
West Virginia has one mobile sportsbook and while it absolutely helps, having several in the same market is a great way to allow betting to get even bigger.
More sportsbooks mean more competition. When there’s more competition (or any at all), sportsbooks must go the extra mile to stand out to customers.
Standing out is usually done by providing more enticing bonus offers and daily promotions. If there are multiple sportsbooks with quality offers, more WV residents will be inclined to sign up and take advantage of free money.
If WV can post the type of handle and revenue figures, it does already with just one online book, and one without a national reputation, think about how much this could grow with 5 or even 15 mobile sportsbooks. That is what the bright future holds for both WV bettors and the state.