NITRO, W.Va. — Eric Althaus, the President and GM at Mardi Gras Casino in Kanawha County said guests kept asking officials when the sportsbook would be reopened.
Althaus delivered the good news to those guests in the past week as the sports betting amenity reopened following a months-long closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mardi Gras Casino also announced the launch of its new sports betting and iGaming app, Betly.
He told MetroNews the addition of the app enhances the offerings at Mardi Gras Casino.
“Any way that we can talk and communicate to our guest and bring our very high guest service brand standards into the comfort of your own home, and into your hands is an added benefit in being a Mardi Gras guest,” Althaus said.
This is the first sports betting app for Mardi Gras since BetLucky went dark in March 2019. The operation closed following a contract dispute between the management services provider Miomni and a third party vendor.
Delaware North started a new contract with IGT in January and opened retail betting at its locations at Mardi Gras Casino and Wheeling Island Casino.
Two months later, the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown most parts of the country’s economy including casinos. Althaus said the reopening of the sportsbook is a long time coming.
“We only opened with slot machines and one bar at first,” Althaus said of the process. “We were able to add table games soon after and then the hotel soon after that. We continue to analyze what makes the most sense and what our guests want.”
Althaus praised Delaware North’s “Play It Safe program” in response to reopening during the pandemic. Guests are required to have temperature checks, IDs scanned and wear masks at the facility.
He said that has been the reason amenities are coming back at a steady pace.
“We have yet to have any incidents,” he said. “We are very happy to say we have no COVID cases internally or externally with internal guests or our associates. We are still shutting down, not open 24 hours a day, to make sure we can do a deep cleaning on-site.”
The Greenbrier Resort launched its iGaming app with MGM last week. Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races began offering the betting option through Draft Kings in July.
Wheeling Island Casino is scheduled to resume sports betting Sept. 2.