West Virginia Lottery Awards Genius Sports Sports Betting License

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Genius Sports announced Friday it has been granted a permanent sports betting license by the West Virginia Lottery Commission. The UK-based official data, technology company that provides data management, video streaming, and integrity serves to sports betting and media is now operational in 13 US states.

West Virginia, which releases sports betting figures weekly, was the fifth state to launch the industry in 2018 and reported $25.5 million in May handle. Though May represented a decline in the monthly handle, revenue saw a nearly 38% rise in sports betting revenue for the month. The Mountain State’s figures for the last month represent the data collected between May 2-29.

Genius Sports Launches in an Evolving Market

Genius Sports has launched in a market that was also one of the first to kick off online sports betting in Dec. 2018. The state’s mobile share was $18.4 million, or 72% of the total handle in May.

While launching in an evolving market like West Virginia, Mark Locke, CEO of Genius Sports, said that the company is fully committed to supporting the development of – and keen to operating in – regulated markets in partnership with fully licensed sportsbooks.

While hailing the Mountain State for being at the forefront of liberalization in the US, he felt honored that Genius Sports has been awarded the license to provide the “industry-leading services” in West Virginia.

Locke also noted that “our sportsbook partners will continue to utilize our solutions to help them thrive in this rapidly growing market.”

Genius, A Global Leader in Digital Sports Content

As the official data, technology, and commercial partner that powers the global ecosystem, Genius Sports connects sports, betting, and media. Genius Sports is a global leader in digital sports content and technology services, spanning across over 150 countries, empowering sports to manage and distribute their live data and video, driving their digital transformation and increasing their relationships with fans.

The company also said in a release that it is the trusted partner to more than 400 sports leagues and federations worldwide, including one of the biggest leagues such as the NFL, NCAA, PGA, EPL, FIBA, AFA, and NASCAR.

The company claims to be more than just a technology company as it builds “long-term relationships with sports at all levels, helping them to maximize the value of their content while offering technical expertise and support.”

In April, Genius Sports announced it has completed its business combination with dMY Technology Group, a special purpose acquisition company.

Efforts to Expand West Virginia Sports Betting

Earlier this year, West Virginia lawmakers endeavored to expand the sports betting market in this year’s session. Sen. Mike Moroney proposed a bill seeking to bring “as many skins as possible,” feeling the Mountain State has limited itself by keeping sportsbooks tethered to casinos.

His bill – SB 603 – passed the Senate Finance Committee in March. But even Maroney admitted he had little hope to see any desirable changes during this year’s session, which adjourned April 10. The intention to propose the bill was just to get it on agenda and start the conversation, the senator said.

Maroney, and other proponents of a more open market, ask why West Virginia – with a lottery system – should compel operators like FanDuel and BetMGM to tether with a third party, which only skims the money off the top.

The existing law authorizes the five casinos in West Virginia to pair with up to three online sportsbooks each. There are five sportsbooks with market access in the Mountain State – FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, William Hill, and Betly.

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