West Virginia Issues First Sports Betting Licence

West Virginia Issues First Sports Betting Licence

GeoComply has been granted the first sports betting licence in West Virginia, just days after the Lottery Commission filed sports betting regulations with the Secretary of State’s office.

The move leaves the West Virginia Lottery confident that the US state will go live with a regulated sports betting service before the commencement of the 2018 football season, scheduled for September 6.

GeoComply Role in West Virginia Sport Betting

GeoComply is a global leader in geolocation technology, supporting regulated online operators, including those offering online sports betting, online casinos and lottery.

The new licence it has been given allows it to use its geolocation compliance solution, to help online gambling operators ensure they are only taking sports bets from consumers located in the state of West Virginia.

It is an interim sports betting licence as the regulatory framework continues to travel towards full legalisation of sports betting within the Mountain State, but means that operators can continue to prepare. David Briggs, chief executive of GeoComply, explained:

We are now ready to supply compliance-grade geolocation solutions to the local operators and partners in West Virginia, to get online sports wagering up and running in the state.

He went on to commend state officials for their “very proactive” actions towards becoming one of the first US states to introduce legal sports betting, an approach Danielle Boyd, managing general counsel for the West Virginia Lottery, confirmed was intentional.

With the recent repeal of PASPA, we have set a very aggressive timeline for introducing sports wagering in the state, and are happy to have GeoComply show its readiness to support our launch in time for the new NFL season.

Gambling Firms Lining Up In West Virginia

GeoComply is the first company to obtain a licence, but several other gambling firms are well on the way to joining them. European betting firms, with significant online presences, have already moved in to lay foundations.

William Hill recently signed an agreement with one of West Virginia’s five casinos - the name yet to be disclosed - and Paddy Power-Betfair’s newest US division FanDuel has done a deal with another, The Greenbrier casino - well-known as a PGA tour tournament venue, and the location for NFL stars Houston Texans’s training camps.

FanDuel announced its partnership with PPB in May and the merger was completed last month, giving the US fantasy sports site the full suite of technology to provide onsite, online, and mobile application sports betting services to The Greenbrier.

DraftKings's sportsbook operator Kambi is also in the mix, the Malta-based firm having powered New Jersey’s first authorised online sports bet on August 1. It was the first online betting supplier to process an online wager in the post-PASPA US market and has wheels in motion for a West Virginia licence.

West Virginia Sports Betting Launch

Earlier this week the state Lottery revealed that the Hollywood Casino & Inn at Charles Town Races would take West Virginia’s first sports bet.

Speaking on the West Virginia MetroNews Sportsline, Boyd said that the casino would be ready to launch a retail-only service by September 1, she adding that the state was going to operate a phased launch of sports betting across its five casinos.

This means that, while West Virginia is set to have sport wagering available before the NFL Kickoff, it is unlikely to be live statewide before the football season commences. It is a minor delay considering the hurdles already crossed, and ensures West Virginia should go down in the history books as the fifth US state to take a legal sports bet, following Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, and Mississippi.

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