6:00: Morning News

Mountaineer Casino cuts the ribbon on sports betting

CHESTER, W.Va. — A third West Virginia casino has started a sports betting operation.

A ribbon was cut Wednesday morning for the William Hill Sports Book at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort at Chester in Hancock County.

“We got the jump on everyone in this area,” Mountaineer Vice President and General Manager Bill Winkelried said during an appearance Wednesday on MetroNews “Talkline.” “The closest one to us is Charles Town at this point.”

Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Racetrack opened its sports betting facility in late August and the casino at The Greenbrier resort followed a few weeks later. Delaware North properties at Wheeling Island Casino and Mardi Gras Casino in Kanawha County are expected to open in the coming weeks.

The state made approximately $200,000 in the first month of sports betting, according to the West Virginia Lottery.

Winkelried said sports betting by itself probably won’t add a lot to the bottom line but it will bring more people to the casino.

“That’s more people in to sit at the tables (table games), sit at the slots, go to the restaurant and have a couple drinks at the bar. That’s where the big increase is going to be seen,” Winkelried said.

He said the sports book has given the casino new energy.

“You can’t miss it the boards are up all the signs the TVs are up so you can see the lines as soon as you walk into the casino,” Winkelried “And it reminds me of Vegas.”

Winkelried added Mountaineer’s sports betting app won’t be available until sometime next year.

West Virginia’s Legislature overwhelmingly passed its sports betting law this past legislative session, anticipating a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to allow for broadened betting on sports events. That ruling came down in May.

Gov. Jim Justice let the bill pass into law without his signature because his family owns The Greenbrier.

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