Not So Fast: WV Sportsbook Owner’s Lawsuit Finally Gets A Response

Posted on July 25, 2019

After two months, Miomni responds to Delaware North‘s lawsuit claiming fraud by seeking a dismissal of the case.

The motion to dismiss is based on three points:

  • It did not breach the original contract.
  • The US court has no jurisdiction rights over Venner, who is a UK citizen.
  • There was no fraud.

Miomni explained:

“Delaware North has not stated a breach of the joint venture agreement and failed to adequately plead claims of fraud against either Miomni or Mr. Venner. Moreover, the Court lacks personal jurisdiction over Mr. Venner. Accordingly, defendants respectfully request that the Court dismiss the complaint.”

With these claims, it’s clear that Miomni isn’t going down without a fight. Miomni doesn’t think it did anything wrong and it isn’t going to fold under what it’s calling false allegations.

A look back at Delaware North vs. Miomni

Sports betting in West Virginia has been without an online sportsbook since March. That is when the state lost two retail locations as well as the only mobile sports betting app to launch in the Mountain State.

Delaware North, the owner of both the Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island sportsbooks, the BetLucky app, had to suspend sports wagering everywhere.

Its software provider, Miomni, had an issue with a third-party operator and was forced to shut down all three sportsbooks.

Not long after, Delaware North filed a lawsuit against Miomni and its CEO, Michael Venner.

It stated that the software provider misled Delaware North and gaming regulators while misrepresenting which intellectual property the company owned.

The disagreement and lawsuit came out of nowhere. Delaware North was forced to suspend its wagering services after three months, reducing the number of active WV sportsbooks from six to three.

The suspension was initially very confusing because there wasn’t much information provided from either party. It wasn’t until over a month later when Delaware North officially sued Miomni that things became clear.

It was around this same time that used the Freedom of Information Act to request documents that helped explain the situation in more depth.

The documents revealed that the third-party service provider having the dispute with Miomni was the company Entergaming.

The problem was that Delaware North believed Miomni was the only company involved in creating its gambling software and had no idea about Entergaming’s participation.

Entergaming stopped its services because of a disagreement with Miomni regarding the payment of its option agreement. Thus the sportsbooks shut down, and we are watching the rest play out before us.

WV sportsbooks moving forward

This complex and confusing situation sums up the existence of sports betting in WV as a whole. There was once so much optimism in the state around legal sportsbooks, but several problems and legal issues have turned it more into a headache.

WV Lottery Director John Myers has even gone as far as calling sports gambling in WV a “pain in the butt.”

With that said, however, sports betting will continue in WV and hopefully grow at a faster rate than it’s currently going.

Right now, there are three active retail sportsbooks in the state, including:

As far as online options go, WV is in waiting mode. Three online sportsbooks have been approved to launch in the state, it’s just a matter of exactly when.

The mobile apps that will eventually release in WV include:

The void left by Delaware North’s closing of Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras has made the need for an online option even more vital.

Delaware North won’t be accepting wagers at these two casinos anytime soon. That doesn’t change the fact that the state needs to get moving on pushing out one of these online sportsbooks.

WV residents are unable to consistently get to retail sportsbooks and with only three existing across a big, rural state, who can blame them?

With both the college football and NFL years about to begin, some changes need to happen quickly.

The state needs to get online betting back up and running. Delaware North, on the other hand, North must try to salvage its sportsbooks and return to the WV market before it misses the entire football season.

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Chris Imperiale

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.

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