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One WV sports betting app launched Monday, another on the way

After a nearly six-month hiatus, sports betting smartphone apps are back in West Virginia.

FanDuel, in conjunction with the casino at The Greenbrier resort, launched its FanDuel Sportsbook app early Monday morning, and Draft Kings is scheduled to come online later this week with a sports wagering app in conjunction with Hollywood Casino in Charles Town.

“The Greenbrier went live this morning,” state Lottery public relations manager Randy Burnside said Monday. “FanDuel went live at between 6 and 6:30, and we should have Draft Kings any day.”

Larry Puccio, lobbyist for Draft Kings, said Monday that company officials will be in West Virginia Tuesday and Wednesday in preparation for a launch by Thursday.

A third mobile sports betting app provider, William Hill Sports, is still undergoing testing of its app by Lottery officials. It will be affiliated with Mountaineer Racetrack and Casino, although under the law legalizing sports betting in West Virginia, each casino may operate up to three different sports betting apps.

Meanwhile, the two state casinos owned by Delaware North, Mardi Gras in Nitro and Wheeling Island, remain sidelined after legal issues with its sports betting software provider forced it to shut down both on-site sportbooks and mobile betting apps for both casinos in March.

The two casinos had been the first to offer sports wagering apps, beginning late last December.

Launch of the sports betting apps will fall near the one-year anniversary of launch of the first on-site sportsbook in the state, at Hollywood Casino, under a law passed in March 2018 legalizing betting on sporting events.

There had been numerous obstacles along the way, including the extra time needed to verify that mobile networks used to transmit sports wagering data would not cross state lines — a potential violation of the federal Wire Act, which makes it illegal to use “wire communications” to transmit bets across state lines.

“I know there’s some concern that it’s taken awhile, but when you do something for the first time, you have to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. We think we’re there,” Lottery Director John Myers said after the Lottery Commission meeting last week.

The FanDuel app can be downloaded in iOS or Android app stores or by going to http://fanduel.com/sportsbook-wv.

The launch of the two sports apps will be in time for the first major weekend of college football, coming up this weekend, and ahead of the start of the NFL football season next week.

Players do not need to go to The Greenbrier casino to sign up for the app, but must be in West Virginia in order to use it to place bets.

Reach Phil Kabler at

philk@wvgazettemail.com,

304-348-1220

or follow @PhilKabler on Twitter.

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